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Bereaved Father Accuses IDF of Unethical Policies - Towards Israelis

"My son's blood was less important to the IDF than Ahmed's blood." So says Moshe Keinan, whose son Avihu was killed yesterday in a battle with terrorists in Al-Bureij, Gaza.
First Publish: 9/26/2003, 11:12 AM

"My son's blood was less important to the Israel Defense Forces than Ahmed's blood." So says Moshe Keinan, whose son Avihu was killed yesterday morning in a battle with terrorists in Al-Bureij, Gaza. Mr. Keinan said he asked his son's commander, who paid a condolence visit to the family yesterday, why a 1-ton bomb was not released on the building in which the terrorists were hiding - instead of giving them a chance to fire the fatal shots that killed Avihu. "The commander lowered his head and did not answer," Mr. Keinan said.

The bereaved father, eulogizing his only son at last night's funeral - he and his wife have four daughters - accused the Defense Minister, the Chief of Staff, and the Air Force Commander of implementing an "unethical" policy. Mr. Keinan said that the IDF endangers the lives of Israeli soldiers in order not to harm Arab civilians in whose midst the terrorists are hiding. "No other army in the world has this policy," he said.

Mr. Keinan also related to remarks made the night before by Air Force Commander Dan Halutz, who was responding to the letter by 27 pilots refusing to bomb terrorists hiding in civilian areas. Keinan quoted Gen. Halutz as saying that the IDF was the most moral and ethical army in the world - but Keinan rejected this. He noted bitterly that it was precisely this policy that killed his son. He demanded that "270 Captains, 270 Majors, 270 Colonels, and 270 Generals all inform Minister of Defense Mofaz that they too are willing to put their insignia and ranks on the table" with a demand to be permitted to bomb terrorist targets in the most effective manner.

Six soldiers were also wounded in the gunfire in yesterday's battle; the two wanted terrorists were killed.