IDF’s top lawyer warns commanders against ‘unacceptable cases of conduct’ by troops in Gaza

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, Israel Defense Forces military advocate general, in Jerusalem on February 8, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 )
Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, Israel Defense Forces military advocate general, in Jerusalem on February 8, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 )

The IDF’s top lawyer, Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, issues a warning to commanders against illegal acts carried out by troops in the Gaza Strip.

“We have encountered unacceptable cases of conduct that deviate from IDF values and protocols,” the IDF’s military advocate general writes in a missive.

She says they include “inappropriate statements which encourage unacceptable phenomena; unjustified use of force, including against detainees; looting, which include the use or removal of private property for non-operational purposes; and destruction of civilian property contrary to protocols.”

“Some incidents go beyond the disciplinary domain, and cross the criminal threshold,” she warns.

“These acts and statements, on the part of individuals who do not represent the whole, are contrary to the IDF being a professional, moral, and dignified army, and they have no place in the IDF,” Tomer-Yerushalmi says.

She says the acts also “cause the State of Israel and the IDF strategic damage in the international arena, the seriousness of which is difficult to overstate.”

Tomer-Yerushalmi says the cases are being investigated, after which the Military Advocate General’s Office will decide if criminal or disciplinary measures need to be taken.

The IDF lawyer’s comments come the day after IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi sent a missive to troops telling them that the army is “not on a killing spree,” not acting out of revenge nor carrying out genocide in Gaza, with the war against Hamas in its fifth month.

Most Popular