Ashkenazi: Civilian deaths were rare exceptions

IDF chief vows to continue probes into reports of innocent Gazans hurt during Cast Lead.

gabi ashkenazi radio 248 88 (photo credit: IDF)
gabi ashkenazi radio 248 88
(photo credit: IDF)
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi responded yet again to reports that Palestinian civilians had been targeted during Operation Cast Lead on Wednesday, saying that cases in which innocent people were hurt were rare and inadvertent exceptions. "The IDF is a moral army, but it is possible that mistakes were made and innocent people were hurt," Ashkenazi told Army Radio, stressing that all complaints were being investigated. The IDF chief also noted that he was glad that "Israel's South has been quiet recently, which proves that Operation Cast Lead achieved its goals." However, if the situation calls for military action, "the IDF will not hesitate to act," he said. "IDF soldiers can never be calm, but the civilians should be. Our troops are deployed throughout the country and we are taking note of everything that takes place," he said. Ashkenazi went on to express his commitment to securing the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held hostage by Hamas for 1,018 days. " This is the third Seder without Gilad, and we're making every effort to get him back," said Ashkenazi. "It's my duty as commander of the army to bring his release - we sent him there and we must bring him home. We're operating on every possible level, but it would be wrong for me to go into details," he concluded.