Ashkenazi: IDF is a ‘moral’ army


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s top general called the army "moral" and "humane" following reports concerning soldier’s actions in Gaza.

Speaking to new recruits Monday at the Meitav army base, Chief of the General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi addressed reports concerning soldiers’ behavior while serving during the military incursion known as Operation Cast Lead.

"I’ve known the IDF for many years, and as the person who accompanied the preparations for Operation Cast Lead, briefed the commanders in the field, and is well aquainted with commanders and soldiers of the IDF, I tell you that this is a moral and ideological army," Ashkenazi said.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Police is investigating the accusations.

"I don’t believe that soldiers serving in the IDF hurt civilians in cold blood, but we shall wait for the results of the investigation," Ashkenazi said, adding that the IDF "is the most humane army in the world."

He said isolated cases, if found to have taken place, would be dealt with individually.

Ashkenazi added that the war zone the soldiers faced, in the heavily populated civilian areas where Hamas chose to base itself, was a "complex atmosphere."

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