Rabbi Hershel Schachter, the head of Yeshiva University's rabbinical school, issued an apology this week for a statement he made that appeared to advocate shooting the prime minister of Israel should the government "give away Jerusalem." According to New York's The Jewish Week, Schachter's controversial comments are part of a 39-second clip posted on the YouTube Web site this week and are taken from a discussion the rabbi had with American students learning at Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem. It is not known when the statement was made. In what appeared to be a response to a question about serving in the IDF, the highly respected halachic authority and Talmud scholar said: "First you have to know what the army is going to do. If the army is going to destroy Gush Katif, there's no mitzva to destroy Eretz Yisrael. "If the army is going to give away Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], then I would tell everyone to resign from the army - I'd tell them to shoot the rosh hamemshala [prime minister]," a statement that prompted laughter from his audience. "No one should go to the army if they [the soldiers] are doing aveirot [sins]," the rabbi continued. "We're talking if the army is seeing to it that the country is secure, if they're doing the right thing. In an official apology, Schachter said, "Statements I made informally have been publicly excerpted this week. I deeply regret such statements and apologize for them. They were uttered spontaneously, off the cuff, and were not meant seriously. And they do not, God forbid, represent my views. Jewish law demands respect for representatives of the Jewish government and the State of Israel."