New IDF policy: Prioritize terrorists’ lives over safety of troops, civilians

“Are we now supposed to save the lives of terrorists who want to kill us?” asks outraged combat soldier.

By World Israel News Staff

A leaked IDF memo outlining a new policy that prioritizes saving the lives of wounded terrorists before ensuring that they cannot harm troops or civilians sparked major backlash among soldiers, politicians, and security-focused NGOs in Israel.

An internal army document obtained by Hebrew-language Channel 14 News revealed instructions that troops “should immediately [provide life-saving] care to wounded terrorists,” and that they “do not need to wait for a sapper” to confirm the terrorist is unarmed.

Typically, after an exchange of fire between terrorists and security forces, a sapper will check that a wounded terrorist isn’t armed with an explosive belt or other device that could maim or kill nearby soldiers or civilians.

It’s not clear what triggered this change in policy, which appears to suggest that saving the life of a terrorist who engaged in a gun battle or threw explosive devices at soldiers is more important than guaranteeing the safety of those nearby.

“We didn’t know that this is what they wanted us to do in [the event of] a terror attack, and if [we were faced] with this situation in the field, all of us agree that we would not treat the terrorist [before confirming he is unarmed,]” an active duty combat soldier told Channel 14 News, speaking anonymously.

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“Please do something about this. These [directives] don’t make sense anymore, it’s not enough that we’re dealing with rock-throwers and curses and everything else we have to endure, we’re now supposed to save the lives of terrorists who want to kill us?”

MK Tali Gottlieb (Likud) responded to the directive on Twitter, writing that “the clearly illegal order to treat wounded terrorists before the arrival of a sapper to check if there is explosive material on their bodies is crazy.”

Gottlieb added that those who “are merciful to the cruel will be cruel to the righteous. The blood of our heroic soldiers [matters more] than the blood of the terrorists. This insane and dangerous order will be canceled.”

MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) reposted the Channel 14 report about the directive on his Twitter account, captioning it “madness in the [defense] system.”

The Zionist Betzalmo NGO wrote an open letter to senior IDF officials, urging the military’s top brass to rescind the policy and favor soldiers’ lives over those of wounded terrorists.