image Photo: IDF

Enemy states target Israeli civilians while using their own as shields, says IDF Chief

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi made the remarks during a memorial ceremony for fallen Golani Brigade troops, while addressing efforts to combat adversaries who deliberately conduct terror-related activities against Israel from their own populated areas.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

They make use of their civilians as shields and are making efforts to turn our own citizens into targets,” he told those gathered, adding, “The urban surrounding in which we operate intensively for over two decades, civilians and terror-operatives are mixed together, a fact that turns the battle into unprecedentedly complex. The ‘fog of war’ has become denser and further blurred the boundaries between civilian and terrorist, between innocents and terrorists; yet while complexities deepen, to our joy the number of those harmed has diminished drastically over the past several years.”

Going on to reaffirm that the IDF commitment to safeguard the nation, Gen. Kochavi stressed, “the situation of our enemies is very bad, economically, socially and defensively. They fail to implement their national goals while we advance in fulfilling our own. And time and again, they are targeted and neutralized by actions that we perform across all sectors of the Middle East – including distances of hundreds of kilometers from our borders, as well as distances of merely several kilometers from houses of our nation’s civilians.”

“In order to exist, we must protect. In order to protect, we must fight and win. In order to fight, we must show the will to sacrifice – whether during times of war or clashes with terrorists embedded within civilian populations on the border – the spirit of battle remains an everlasting key,” he stressed.

The top military chief commended families and friends of the fallen Golani solders, who he said made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country, for serving as living examples of Israel’s national resilience.

“The spirit of battle is a military and national principle,” he said, emphasizing that, “From a military perspective this means sticking to the mission, meticulous and fiercely resolved; and in layman’s terms, nothing is impossible. In any circumstance we will find a solution to deal with the enemy. Based on this principle, we have won. Because of this principle, we experienced loss. We lost many. From a national perspective, the spirit of battle means exercising devotion to national goals – devotion to security interests; and as a whole, it is a societal preparedness to sacrifice and bear losses for sake of accomplishing those national goals. This is meaning of ‘national resilience’ of which you, dear families, are proof.”