Photo: Gali Tibon
Col. Itai Virov
Photo: Gali Tibon

Brigade commander denies condoning violence against Palestinians

Col. Virov says testimony in which he said 'sometimes a slap or blow to a Palestinian is reasonable' was misunderstood

Kfir Brigade Commander Itai Virov filed his response to a petition handed by the rights organization Yesh Din to the High Court of Justice Wednesday.


The rights group demanded that he be suspended from duty and subject to investigation due to testimony he gave in which he said that "sometimes a slap or a blow to a Palestinian in order to calm him down are reasonable courses of action."


In his response, Colonel Virov claims the petition "glued together" comments unrelated to each other and deliberately cut relevant parts of his testimony.


He also says he has had a reprimand marked against him in his personal record and that the testimony does not signify any intent to commit a crime, therefore no additional legal procedures against him were warranted.


Virov says the misunderstanding of his testimony derives from the answers he was forced to give the court about the IDF's activities in the Palestinian territories, and that he did not mean to imply that use of violence against civilians was an acceptable thing.


Virov also explains in his response to the petition that he is aware of IDF regulations, and does not condone use of force in order to extract information. He adds that in the many years he has served as commander he has never been accused of "immoral" conduct.


"Virov acted and acts in accordance with IDF values, and this is how he educates his underlings," the response says.


Virov was also criticized by Military Advocate General Brigadier-General Avi Mandelblit, who warned IDF soldiers against employing any kind of violence against Palestinians during their operations in the Palestinian territories.


But a number of officers responded to Mandelblit's statement dubiously. "We don't support violence, we thoroughly condemn it, but sometimes there are impossible situations during which power is employed. Our combat troops need to know that if something like this happens they have our support, otherwise we have a big problem here," one of the officers told Ynet.


פרסום ראשון: 09.23.09, 17:26
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