JERUSALEM (Jul. 26)
Supporters of Chief of Staff Gen. Raphael Eitan are attacking his critics in the mounting controversy over his reduction of the sentence of an Israeli army officer convicted of killing Arab prisoners of war during the Lebanese operation in the spring of 1978. On Tuesday a motion was submitted in the Knesset for Eitan’s dismissal. Today the government press office released a letter of support for the Chief of Staff signed by 400 moshav villagers.
They assailed the “hypocrisy of those who did not say anything when the sentences of terrorists were reduced but do so in the case of a young officer.” Likud MK Pessah Grupper charged in the Knesset yesterday that critics of Eitan are besmirching the good name of Israel’s defense forces and denigrating its values. He claimed that the army’s future operation activities may be impaired as a result of this criticism.