Israeli Army Chief: I Don’t Want Soldiers Emptying Magazines on Girls With Scissors

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot defends the military's rules of engagement in the face of terror attacks, says Hezbollah is Israel's greatest adversary among its neighbors.

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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Wednesday defended the army's rules of engagement vis-à-vis terror attacks.

Eisenkot made the remarks during a visit to a high school in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam. Addressing the ongoing wave of violence, Eisenkot noted that terrorism, including stabbing attacks, are not new to Israel. "It could happen in Tel Aviv, Otniel or Ariel," he said, referring to two West Bank settlements. "We see mutual influences between what happens in the Middle East with ISIS, and what happens here."

After Eisenkot made his remarks, a student asked the IDF chief to comment on the military's rules of engagement, which the student said put soldiers at risk.  Eisenkot asserted that the rules were satisfactory and correct, saying the "IDF cannot speak in slogans, such as 'if someone comes to kill you, arise to kill them first,' or 'everyone who carries scissors should be killed.'" Troops can act only if there is threat to life, Eisenkot said.

"I don't want a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors," he added.

Screengrab from video of Jerusalem stabbing attack in Mahne Yehuda Market by 16 and 14-year-old Palestinian teens with scissors.Credit: Courtesy

During the visit, the IDF chief also spoke about Hezbollah, saying that of all the entities surrounding Israel the militant group has the most serious capabilities.    

A day earlier, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened to attack an ammonia storage facility in northern Israel. “Our rockets combined with the ammonia storage facility in Haifa will create the effect of a nuclear weapon,” he said.

Eisenkot said that while Hezbollah is building up its capabilities, the IDF has succeeded in creating deterrence. "For ten years Israel’s border with Lebanon has been its quietest frontier," he said.

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