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Gantz: Chief of staff, not US, determines Israel’s open-fire policies

September 8, 2022 at 10:59 am

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (R) welcomes Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Benny Gantz (L) at the Pentagon on December 9, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. [Yasin Öztürk – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said yesterday that it is the Israeli army, not the US, which determines Israel’s open-fire policies, Axios reported.

“IDF’s chief of the general staff, and he alone, determines, and will continue to determine the rules of engagement in accordance with our operational needs and values of the IDF,” Gantz said, according to the news site.

“These instructions are implemented in a strict manner by soldiers and their commanders. There has not been, and there will not be any political involvement in the matter,” he added.

READ: Gantz: PA must to take action against Palestinian resistance 

A senior official was also quoted as saying: “Nobody is going to change the rules of engagement because of US political pressure.”

This comes as Joe Biden’s administration puts pressure on Israel to change its open-fire policies in the occupied West Bank following the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department, Vedant Patel, said on Tuesday that the Biden administration will continue to press Israel “to closely review its policies and practices on rules of engagement” of the occupation army in the occupied West Bank.

Patel stated that this is needed in order “to mitigate the risk of civilian harm, protect journalists and prevent similar tragedies.”

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