Israeli officer reprimanded for religious booklet

The IDF said it has "severely reprimanded" an officer for distributing a religious booklet urging soldiers to show no mercy to their enemies. The unidentified officer handed out the booklet to troops during Israel's three-week military incursion in the Gaza Strip. The army said the booklet was based on the writings of an ultranationalist rabbi identified with the Jewish settler movement in the West Bank. It said the chief military rabbi, Brig. Gen. Avichay Rontzki, did not see or approve the booklet before publication. Some passages compared Palestinians to the biblical Philistines and suggested they had no right to land claimed by Israel. An Israeli rights group has said the passages bordered on "incitement to racism." The army said the case was an isolated incident.