Aviv Kohavi
Aviv KohaviIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The annual commemoration ceremony in memory of the 185 fallen soldiers of the Kfir Brigade took place on Tuesday, at the Kfir Brigade Monument in Afula.

The ceremony was led by IDF Chief of the General Staff LTG Aviv Kohavi, and included the participation of the Commanding Officer of the Multi-Domain Joint Maneuver Array, MG Saar Tzur, the Commanding Officer of the 99th Division, BG Barak Hiram, the Commanding Officer of the Kfir Brigade, COL Sharon Altit, the bereaved families of the fallen soldiers and the brigade’s past and present commanders.

“The IDF has been conducting an increased campaign in Judea and Samaria throughout the past seven months—Operation ‘Break the Wave.’ As part of the operation, approximately 1500 Palestinian terrorists were arrested, dozens of terrorists were neutralized, and most importantly—hundreds of terrorist attacks were prevented. In other words, hundreds of families continue to live their lives safely and happily,” said Kohavi.

“We saw another example of this tonight: exceptional intelligence and professional security forces penetrated the Kasbah of Nablus and killed those who tried, and in one case even succeeded, to harm the civilians of the State of Israel and its soldiers. This is a war against terrorism, a complex war based on the superior and professional capabilities of the IDF’s units, and on the high morals and values of its commanders and soldiers,” added the Chief of Staff.

“The soldiers operate professionally and employ all efforts to differentiate between terrorists and uninvolved Palestinian civilians. They have complete freedom to operate their weapons to carry out a mission or to eliminate a threat. To put it simply—they are professional and ethical soldiers, who fight against terrorism while maintaining their humanity. We however are not free from mistakes and faults. Two days ago, an IDF soldier stopped and questioned a Palestinian man during routine activity. Completely against the IDF’s rules and values, he began to kick and hit him.”

“The reality in which the soldiers operate is not simple and sometimes complex, and they are given substantial authority alongside clear procedures as a result. Even so, no one has the authority to overrule procedures and deviate from values. There is no authority to use force when unnecessary, there is no authority to hit, and there is no authority to humiliate. What did the soldier think to himself with each kick? What did he feel with every blow he hit?”

“This incident indicates poor values. This behavior tarnishes the entire IDF, it is not our way, and we reject such behavior with outrage. We will put an end to these incidents. The IDF derives its strength from the quality of its personnel, its professional abilities and its formations. We will protect them without compromise,” stated Kohavi.