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Army Colonel Dismissed

An army colonel who asked to be relieved of his command of an armored brigade at the front on grounds of conscience has been dismissed from the army.

Col. Eli Geva, who at age 32 was regarded as one of the army’s most promising commanders, had talked at length with Premier Menachem Begin, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Gen. Rafoel Eitan to explain his fears that any frontal attack on west Beirut would cause many casualties to his own troops and to civilians in the town.

According to his brother, Yehonatan, another young army commander, Eli had not asked to be allowed to resign from the army but to continue fighting, possibly as a regular soldier tank fighter to show that it was not fear of battle which made him take his step but ideological differences with the political prosecution of the war, the early stages of which he had fully agreed with.