IDF chief warns soldiers to use ‘appropriate force’

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot sent a letter Wednesday warning troops to use "appropriate force," after a soldier was caught on video shooting dead a wounded Palestinian terrorist.

The soldier – who shot the terrorist in the head last Thursday in Hevron following a stabbing attack, after the attackers had already been shot and seriously wounded – was arrested and is currently awaiting the verdict of a military court, which heard his case on Tuesday.

The soldier's remand was extended by two days later Tuesday to allow time for the judge to deliberate.

Prosecutors claim he shot the terrorist in revenge for the attack, while the soldier and his defense team say he genuinely believed the terrorist – who was still moving at the time – was trying to detonate a bomb hidden under his clothing.

The case has also provoked controversy, with some officials coming out quickly to condemn the soldier, while others on the Right have rushed to his defense.

A poll released by Israel's Channel 2 television showed 57 percent of Israeli Jews were opposed to the soldier being prosecuted, amid a wave of Arab terror attacks that haas left dozens killed and hundreds wounded.

In his letter to soldiers, Eisenkot cautioned them to always behave professionally.

"In all situations, we must act in a professional manner, using force in a measured and considered way in order to remain faithful to our values," Eisenkot said.

"We will not hesitate to hold accountable soldiers and officers who do not respect operational and moral criteria that guide us in our actions."

AFP contributed to this report.


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