Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday addressed the death of Sgt. Barel Hadarya Shmueli, who was shot at close range during riots on the Gaza border, as well as criticism of the IDF's regulations for opening fire.
"I trust that they know how to draw the necessary lessons. The soldiers have full backing to act to neutralize anyone who has the means and intent to kill, according to the orders. The instructions for opening fire are set by the military echelon, and so it will continue to be," Gantz said.
Barel Shmueli passed away on Monday, over a week after he was critically wounded in Hamas-orchestrated riots on the Gaza border. The shooting raised questions over how the terrorist was able to get so close to the border fence and shot a Border Police officer at such close range.
This week, hundreds of soldiers took part in an online protest posted a message on their Instagram accounts claiming that the IDF senior command was preventing soldiers from defending themselves,
Military correspondent Roi Sharon reported that the protest follows claims that IDF forces at the riot where Shmueli was shot at close ranged asked for permission to open fire and were refused.
According to the military investigation conducted last week, this claim is incorrect. But the argument that IDF soldiers are put at unnecessary risk by commanders who refuse to let them defend themselves is not new.