While the IDF has expressed objection to the formation of an external inquiry committee to probe Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, a top General Staff official told Ynet on Wednesday that more could be done on the PR front.
"There is something that can be done… We can explain better to the world and to ourselves what we are doing," the source said. Nonetheless, he completely rejected all claims of alleged war crimes committed during the Gaza offensive.
IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi attended Tuesday's cabinet meeting on the formation of an inquiry committee, and said that he could personally guarantee that the IDF operated in the most moral and ethical manner, more than any other military in the world.
He stressed that forming such a committee could send a message to military officers that they are not trusted.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday instructed various officials in the government ministries to examine the possibility of advancing an international initiative to change the laws of war due to the spread of global terror.
A General Staff official told Ynet submission to certain guidelines may be harmful to the IDF's operational capabilities. "The Goldstone Report shows that the world has not internalized the nature of wars.
"No one in the world can do it better, there is no example of a more cautious or accurate manner of conduct in such a populous environment. We did not drop bombs without looking and checking thoroughly."
He said that Israel is expected to face further challenges of rockets and missiles being fired at its citizens.
"How can we work and defend Israel's citizens if we need a lawyer to tell us every thing. I don't know of a better method in such a conflict, and if anyone does, let them come and say it. Goldstone didn't say it. If we do not attack, then we will be attacked, and it won't stop," he said.
According to the source, the report's claims have had no affect on the IDF's alignment for future confrontations with Hamas in Gaza. He said the military has nothing to apologize for, and that the IDF was well prepared for the operation, which is why it suffered a relatively low number of casualties.
The official said, "The question is not how many were hit on our side as opposed to the other side, but how many targets did we hit without harming innocents and the surroundings, and I believe we did this well."
Canadian military official Walter J. Natynczyk, who visited Israel this week, said that during his visit he learned a lot about what it takes to defend a country and what challenges Israel is facing.
"We have really come to understand and appreciate what the Israeli forces have had to counter for quite some time and the techniques, the way and the procedures that the Israeli military has adopted and evolved over the past few decades," he said. "We're learning what we can adopt.