A high-ranking IAF officer caused a storm on Monday in an off-record briefing during which he told reporters that IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz had ordered the military to destroy 10 buildings in Beirut in retaliation to every Katyusha rocket strike on Haifa.
The officer said that the equation was created by Halutz and that every rocket strike on Haifa would be answered by IAF missile strikes on 10 12-story buildings in the Beirut neighborhood of Dahiya, a Hizbullah stronghold. Since the beginning of Operation Change of Direction, launched on July 12 following the abduction of two soldiers during a Hizbullah cross-border attack, over 80 buildings in the neighborhood have been destroyed.
After the officer's remarks were published on The Jerusalem Post website as well as other Israeli news sites, the IDF Spokesperson's Office released a statement insinuating that reporters had misquoted the senior officer and claimed that the publications were false and that Halutz had never issued such a directive.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office later retracted its accusation that reporters had misquoted the officer and issued a second statement claiming that the high-ranking officer had made a mistake and was wrong in claiming that Halutz had issued such a directive.