IDF chief welcomes enlisting recruits at a 'very volatile time'

Eizenkot praised off-duty soldier who shot Halamish terrorist. Soldier's mother dismisses criticism her son should have killed the Palestinian attacker "we are defenders not killers."

July 23, 2017 10:40
2 minute read.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The IDF's Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, told newly-enlisted Israeli soldiers at Tel HaShomer that they are entering the army in a "very complicated and volatile time."

"It will be a different time or service than in past years, and our job is to beat our enemies in a definitive way," he told them. "At the end of the day, we rely on the abilities and the spirit of our soldiers."

He told the new Golani and Givati soldiers that the IDF is "working to keep the next war away," though he added that if it does come, the army "will be very effective."

"We are coping with a long list of threats and we have a lot of experience in battling terror, which began even before the establishment of the state," said Eizenkot. "We deal with these threats on a daily basis in order to provide security and the feeling of security in the West Bank."

He also sent his condolences to the family of those killed in Friday's terror attack in Halamish. He said that the soldier who shot the terrorist acted correctly, and that the soldier's shooting "brought an end to the killing spree."

He also commented on the firing of a rocket from Gaza last night, saying that the projectiles are a reminder of the difficult situation that Israelis are in. Last night's rocket exploded before landing in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the mother of the soldier who neutralized the terrorist in Halamish last Friday spoke about her son's actions. Rachel Maoz said her family had been eating dinner when they heard screams coming from next door. Her husband ran to check out the situation and called for his son to grab his weapon. "Unfortunately, for the family, it was too late," she said.

Some have questioned why the soldier did not kill the terrorist in question. Maoz said that had he done so, comparisons would have been made with the Elor Azaria case, in which Azaria, a soldier, killed an terrorist who was severely wounded and was lying unconscious on the ground. To that end, Maoz said that "we re not murderers, we are defenders," and added that her husband, who had gone with his son to the neighbor's house, did not feel that he should kill the already-wounded terrorist who was lying on the floor at that point, not moving.

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