'Soldiers not affected by Azariya verdict'

Head of IDF Southern Command says soldiers who kill terrorists and abide by the rules of engagement are supported by command.

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Eyal Zamir
Eyal Zamir
Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90

IDF soldiers are not afraid to shoot at terrorists following the verdict in the Azariya trial, according to Major General Eyal Zamir, the head of the GOC Southern Command.

Speaking at a leadership conference in Haifa, Gen. Zamir stated that there have been dozens of cases where soldiers shot terrorists and received the full backing of the IDF command.

"Elor Azariya, first of all, committed a criminal offense, according to what the court said. But everything which reaches this threshold is investigated by the military command. We have not ordered investigations and the soldiers received backing in cases where they acted properly. So there is no problem [with the verdict having an effect on IDF moral]."

He said that the IDF cannot compromise its values, otherwise it would lose its morality. "It is not courage to avoid, even murky subjects. A leader does not have to be there because it is convenient."

"39 terrorists have been killed in Judea and Samaria since the incident where Azariya [shot and killed an injured] terrorist. And Palestinian [terrorists] have also been killed in the Southern Command at the Gaza perimeter fence. The soldiers received backing and no investigations were opened because the soldiers acted according to the rules of engagement." he added.

"We are engaged in a violent profession in which human blood is shed. But for the sake of the noble goals [of the IDF], everyone who enters the discussion room of the IDF sees two posters about IDF values and the principles of war. The IDF will not compromise on its values and this has come down to the commanders on all levels." Gen. Zamir asserted.