Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday addressed the commissions of inquiry into thedeadly Navy raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, saying it was important to support the soldiers so that they won't fear facing an investigation committee after each operation.
While visiting the Meitav Induction Base, Ashkenazi said that if needed, he will stand before the commission of inquiry instead of the warriors, and noted that the numerous commissions were unnecessary.
Over the weekend, the UN Human Rights Committee appointed an international team of experts to probe the flotilla incident.
Ashkenazi visits new recruits (Photo: Ofer Amram)
Ashkenazi also commented on the Lebanese flotilla slated to sail to the Gaza Strip, and said, "I hope the Lebanese government will prevent the ships from departing Lebanon's territory, and if not – we'll know to stop them.
"We have the duty and the right to prevent the transfer of arms, weapons and terror activists into the Gaza Strip," he added.
'Adopt new model'The chief of staff visited Meitav Induction Base ahead of the August 2010 recruitment to field units. Ashkenazi spoke to the young recruits who are joining the Givati Brigade and the Field Intelligence Corps, and emphasized that they must do everything in order to prepare for their true test during their service.
Ashkenzi also transmitted a message to the decision makers, and stated that they must reach a solution vis-à-vis recruitment to the IDF in the next few years.
"Although there has been a positive change in teenagers' will to serve in battlefield units, we cannot ignore what is bound to happen in a few years – when many more avoid military serve, especially due to 'Torato Omanuto' (Torah study is his artistry). The only way to solve this issue is by adopting a new model of national or civil service," said Ashkenazi.
The chief of staff noted that he is in favor of each person serving according to his ability, whether it is in the army, the civil service, Magen David Adom or the fire fighters – according to the State's needs.
"It is a social need and social justice. Even youths today ask why some of their peers don't contribute to the country, and that is what we must aspire to reach."
The IDF expressed satisfaction over the high motivation among youths to join battlefield units.
Military sources said that due to the IDF's pre-recruitment activities paired with teenagers' understating that they need to contribute to the army, the rate of boys who do not serve in the IDF stands at 25%, and not 27% according to earlier estimates.
Among girls, the rate is significantly higher at 42%, but still lower than a prior estimation of 45%.
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