The IDF officer said if the Army operated according to its own rules of engagement, there’d be 10-20 dead Hamas terrorists a day.
By World Israel News Staff
Lt. Col. Yoav Schneider, commander of Israeli Army’s 82nd Tank Battalion, 7th Brigade, made a revelation that will be startling to some. In an interview with the Ynet news site conducted last month and published on Monday, he says that the Army waits for Hamas terrorists to evacuate their positions before opening fire.
This, despite the fact that they’d be well within the Army’s rules of engagement if they did open fire, he said.
“If we followed open-fire instructions, every day would end with 10 or 20 killed,” in Gaza, he told Ynet.
This explains why, when Palestinian terrorists launched 10 rockets into southern Israel late on Friday, four hours passed before the IDF responded.
It has been IDF policy for some time to wait until Hamas terrorists leave before opening fire. The death of a Palestinian last week in one of the attacks was apparently an exception, the news site reports.
Asked what he tells his soldiers, and whether or not they feel frustrated, Lt. Col. Schneider said, “I explain to them that there is a difference between the policy and the open-fire instructions…
“Many times I explain to the soldiers that we wait for the position to empty in order to damage it to send a message that we are not ready [to tolerate] an episode – like an attempted penetration, or a shooting… on the other hand, we want the balance to be such that it doesn’t plunge us into a war,” he said.
However, Schneider says that his men are permitted to open fire at terrorists, even if they’re not fired on first. Such was the case in mid-August, when a tankist from his battalion fired on a group of terrorists attempting to cut the border fence.
“This is the only place where an enemy is being shot. There is no hysteria around every investigation,” he said. “In combat situations, sometimes things aren’t the desired results, but it’s not a sterile [situation],” he said.