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      Lawyers Running IDF, Says Expert

      Lt.-Col. (res.) Dan Si'on says new chain of command places IDF soldiers under Attorney-General's command and ties their hands.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 9/22/2011, 7:54 PM

      Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni, IDF Advocate General
      Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni, IDF Advocate General
      Bamachaneh

      Lt.-Col. Dan Si'on says that IDF soldiers have come under the command of the Attorney General's office, instead of their military commanders.

      Si'on said in an Arutz Sheva exclusive interview that in the past few weeks, a document with instructions on how and when to open fire was distributed to security officers in the communities of Judea and Samaria. The document deals with scenarios that are expected after a Palestinian Authority (PA) unilateral declaration of independence.

      The problem is that the document is not signed by the Head of Judea and Samaria Division or the commander of the Territorial Brigade, but by the "Head of the Operations and Human Rights Field" in the Bureau of the Legal Advisor to Central Command.

      The Legal Advisor to Central Command is not subordinate to the Central Command Head but rather to the Military Advocate General.

      "The Military Advocate General, for his part, is not subordinate to the Chief of General Staff but to the Legal Advisor to the Government," said the former Military Advocate General, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avichai Mandelblit in his testimony before the Turkel Committee on the Marmara affair.

      Thus, operational authority has been shifted away from the IDF chain of command and over to the legal chain of "command," Si'on says. In every event in which enemy civilians are hurt, the operational decision making will be retroactively judged by the legal experts – not the army.

      Si'on says that disastrous ramifications of this new situation were manifested in the deadly combined terror attack near Eilat in mid-August. Si'on claims that the IDF had accurate information regarding the attack that was about to take place and knew where its commanders were holed up, but chose not to carry out a preemptive strike.

      He says the reluctance of Border Police to fire at a terrorist in Tel Aviv in late August also stems from the knowledge each soldier has that "the personal risk he takes upon himself in case he uses a lethal weapon is much greater than the risk he takes by taking on, empty handed, a terrorist armed with a knife who is shouting 'Allahu Akbar.'"