Israel’s view of war only as a “last step” allows it to show that “we have gone to war for defense purposes and not occupation,” said Kochavi.
By World Israel News Staff
War is “always the last resort,” says Israel’s military chief, but “in cases when all diplomatic channels have been exhausted, war is a solution.”
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi used the occasion of a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, to counter the decision of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to investigate Israel for war crimes.
Israel’s view of war only as a “last step” allows the Jewish State to show that “we have gone to war for defense purposes and not occupation,” said the chief of staff.
Referring to the Israeli military’s “moral stance,” Kochavi said the IDF does not “tolerate any diversions from the norms of [its] values.” Those moral norms, he maintained, allow the IDF to operate “with all its might even in urban areas which the enemy chooses.”
He stressed the difference between Israel’s morals and that of the Palestinians in that the IDF tries to avoid civilian casualties.
“Mistakes can happen from time to time,” he acknowledged, citing a particular strike by the Israel Air Force in Gaza last month on a terror installation which was believed by Israel to be void of civilians but in which eight non-combatants were killed because, it was later determined, the terrorists had not closed the compound to civilian access.
“Here’s the difference and the deep divide between us and our enemies,” he told the conference.
“While we are investigating for hours why we harmed civilians, they were investigating for hours why they didn’t harm civilians,” said Kochavi, referring to rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Israeli civilians compared to the Israeli military responses in Gaza where the IAF is challenged by having to attack in densely-populated areas where terrorists are located and civilians are used as human shields.
“We cannot allow such symmetry,” he asserted.