IDF chief Aviv Kohavi defends the military against ongoing criticism of its top brass over the death of a Border Police sniper who was shot dead by a Palestinian gunman at point-blank range last month during a riot along the Gaza border.
After the border guard, Barel Shmueli, was shot and fatally wounded during the riot, allegations emerged that the reason why the shooter was able to get so close to the border barrier was due to overly restrictive rules of engagement, which prevented troops from opening fire at the rioters as they approached the border.
Kohavi dismisses the allegations that the rules of engagement or a lack of equipment were to blame for Shmueli’s death.
“The soldiers and commanders are equipped with all of the tools and with open-fire rules that are clear. Claims to the contrary are baseless and are nothing but a total lie,” Kohavi says. “Any soldier that feels threatened and at risk, in war or peacetime, is allowed to, needs to and must take action and remove the threat.”
The IDF chief says that the military is still conducting its investigation into the incident.
“We are completing a thorough investigation that will leave no stone unturned. This is an investigation that is based solely on professional and ethical standards,” he says.