Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, during a meeting with high school students in Bat Yam Wednesday, stated that he does not "want a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors."
Eisenkot discussed the various threats to the state, the rules of engagement during the current wave of terrorism and the subject of women in the military service. "We are dealing with four major threats today," he enumerated. "Against conventional armies, which we have not confronted since 1973; the second threat is the Iranians; the threat of non-state terrorist organizations and the fourth threat is cyberspace."
"Terrorism has accompanied Israeli society all throughout the years and knifings are nothing new. Young men and women in their teens, singles, most of them educated and not from poor families, pick up knives and carry out attacks," Eisenkot explained.
Eisenkot refered to Islamic State and its influence on the wave of terrorism in the country."There are mutual influences between ISIS in the Middle East to what is happening here. There are 10,000 to 15,000 young people who have left Europe to fight for the same idea. In the past, we worked against terrorist organizations with explosives manufacturers and terror laboratories. Knives, however, are found in every kitchen and in every home. The aim of terrorism is to spread fear and terror among the public, its success is in preventing citizens from going about their everyday routines."
When asked by a student about the apparently soft rules of engagement in the West Bank, the Chief of Staff said: "A soldier receives a rifle or a rocket to take a human life, and the rules of engagement are derived from the task the force receives. We do not act according to slogans such as ‘whoever comes to kill you, kill him first’. A soldier can remove the safety and shoot if there is a danger to him or his comrades.
"The West Bank has thousands of troops operating amongst two million Palestinians and hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens. We educate our soldiers to act according to the IDF's ethics and spirit, and it is much easier to work with Syria or Lebanon in this matter. If we were to act in an unethical manner in our rules of engagement, it would pose a threat to the IDF. There were 170 terrorist incidents in recent months, and more than 100 terrorists were killed in situations in which the troops had split-second decisions to make. I would not want a soldier to unload an entire clip into a girl who is holding scissors. Our troops are moral and we know how to preserve this quality."