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Israel: chief of staff slams far-right politician's remarks about army

IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi makes a statemnent on November 12, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi makes a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces has slammed comments made by far-right parliamentarian Itamar Ben-Gvir about the army.

"The IDF is a highly moral army, but there are irregular incidents," said Aviv Kochavi on Wednesday in response to Ben-Gvir's criticism of imprisoning an Israeli soldier for ten days for abusing a left-wing activist in occupied Hebron.

"I am proud that we deal with these incidents harshly," the Times of Israel quoted Kochavi as saying in Beersheba after receiving an award from Ben Gurion University. "The IDF has a moral code. It is called the spirit of the IDF and it does not change based on the weather. Only commanders in the IDF will dictate the rules."

The general insisted that, "Only commanders in the IDF will decide how to handle [soldiers] and only commanders in the IDF will decide how to deal with irregular incidents… Our moral compass is stable, clear and precise."

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, a former chief of staff himself, also warned that allowing the far-right Ben-Gvir to take control of the West Bank Border Police as Minister of National Security would cause "serious harm" to the occupation state.

READ: Ben-Gvir stirs up crisis over detention of Israeli soldier

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