Iron fist, kid gloves

In an unusually heartfelt interview, air force chief Eliezer Shkedy describes grappling with terrorists who surround themselves with civilians because they know Israel will never deliberately fire on innocents.

shkedy 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
shkedy 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A long-scheduled interview with Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, timed for the IAF's annual "Air Force Day," happened to coincide with the "Operation Summer Rains" offensive in Gaza, launched after the June 25 killing of two soldiers and the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit near Kerem Shalom. Seated behind a clear desk in his office in the "Kiriya" military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Shkedy, appointed to his position two years ago, radiates a palpable sense of calm, even when discussing the most acute challenges.