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IDF Warns Against Unacceptable Conduct in Gaza

Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the top lawyer for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), issued a warning on Wednesday to commanders regarding illegal actions carried out by troops in the Gaza Strip.

In a communication, the IDF’s military advocate general highlighted cases of behavior that deviate from IDF values and protocols, which she deemed unacceptable. These included inappropriate statements encouraging unacceptable behavior, unjustified use of force against detainees, looting of private property for non-operational purposes, and destruction of civilian property contrary to protocols.

Tomer-Yerushalmi cautioned that some incidents may even cross the criminal threshold and emphasized that such actions and statements contradict the IDF’s professional, moral, and dignified standards. She stressed that they have no place within the IDF and cause significant strategic damage to Israel and the IDF in the international arena.

Tomer-Yerushalmi mentioned that investigations into these cases are ongoing, and the Military Advocate General Corps will determine if criminal or disciplinary measures are necessary.

Her remarks followed a message from IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who assured troops that the army is not engaging in a killing spree, seeking revenge, or carrying out genocide in Gaza. He emphasized the importance of maintaining humanity, avoiding unnecessary force, distinguishing between terrorists and civilians, refraining from taking what does not belong to them, and not filming revenge videos.

These statements from Halevi and Tomer-Yerushalmi come in response to recent reports, including one by The New York Times titled “What Israeli Soldiers’ Videos Reveal: Cheering Destruction and Mocking Gazans,” which showed Israeli soldiers making derogatory comments about Palestinians and engaging in destructive behavior.

Halevi and Tomer-Yerushalmi’s messages aim to address concerns raised by such reports and reinforce the IDF’s commitment to upholding ethical standards even in the midst of conflict in Gaza.

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