IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Sunday, "We have not lost the right to self defense and in the next war we will do everything in order to reduce civilian casualties," adding that the IDF "is rising lives in order to bring Gilad Schalit home."

Speaking to a group of high school students in Jerusalem, Ashkenazi did not specify what the IDF has done to release Schalit from captivity since negotiations with Hamas stalled. "It doesn't matter what we do; it won't be enough until Gilad is home, safe and sound, because we are the ones who sent him," the chief of staff explained.

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"The IDF has continued to make every effort in order to bring him back, and we won't rest until we complete our mission and Gilad is with his family again," Ashkenazi said.

Ashkenazi also warned that "we cannot let there be a situation where [our enemies] will shoot at our civilians and towns from a secure place among civilians."

In addition, Ashkenazi explained that the IDF has a special connection to Jerusalem, and "sees itself as one of Jerusalem's liberators. Therefore, it's important that every soldier visit the city at least once."

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