The Knesset held a special session today on the subject of “the sanctity of life and purity of arms,” in light of the Azariya trial.
The session took place on the initiative of MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union) and MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), and saw the participation, among others, of Prof. Asa Kasher - among the authors of the IDF’s ethical code of conduct, and General in the Reserves Gershon Hakohen - former commander of the military colleges.
Kasher expressed support for the military legal establishment, saying that Azariya didn’t have to shoot the neutralized terrorist. “The moment there is a prisoner who raises his hands or does not present a danger, we do not kill prisoners. We don’t kill if we don’t have to.
“In the case of Azariya, there was no need to kill [the terrorist], and it was an incorrect act to kill the Palestinian. In terms of purity of arms, commanders acted as was expected.”
“We want the youth to serve in the army and reserves. The analysis of the event strengthens the trust in the army and its commanders,” he said.
MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) formerly head of the Shin Bet, said during the session that “The court made a statement in the Azariya trial. The term ‘purity of arms’ is [...] one of the ten values listed on the ‘Spirit of the IDF’ document. There is no doubt that when a threat presents itself to an IDF soldier or an Israeli citizen, soldiers must act without hesitation in order to stop the threat in every possible manner, but we need to keep the IDF ethical.”
General in the Reserves Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union) said that “people need to understand the damage caused by the use of excessive force, and an additional example of this is the events in Umm Al-Hiran. It’s nonsense that every soldier needs an attorney next to him. A professional army is an ethical army that knows how to be victorious.
“Politicians above the military establishment also have responsibility, and what happened to us over the past half-year shows a difficult picture and intolerable phenomenon, because in the end, trust in the IDF is most important,” he said.