IAF pilots bitterly complain over inability to help comrades on the groundChannel 2 reported on Thursday night that IAF pilots are frustrated with their inability to help their comrades on the ground due to the rules of engagement to which they are subject.
Let's go to the videotape (Hebrew only - English summary to follow).
“Testimony that is reaching us from fighter pilots who provide close air assistance to the combat soldiers who are currently fighting in the field,” Channel 2's military correspondent Nir Dvori reported, “about growing frustration over the fact that they hear the forces below them on the ground asking for cover and close air support when they see the terrorists drawing near from short range, firing at them, and there is no approval, because of various limitations, so as not to hit innocent civilians, and out of concern not to hit uninvolved people, and for this reason they cannot always give covering fire, cannot always fire, and so the frustration is that to some extent, they are leaving the fighters on their own to fight on the ground...”
Yaron Lerman, a Facebook user who posted video of Dvori's statement, asked: “Does Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state, have the right to forcibly conscript its citizens and send them to their deaths so as not to hurt enemy civilians? Is that what the state of Israel was established for?”Interesting and timely. Last night, the weekly Torah class that I attend dealt with the question of whether it is permitted under Jewish laws of war to kill innocent civilians who may be endangering the lives of Israeli troops. The bottom line is that the rabbi concluded that it is permitted if there is no other way to save the Israeli soldiers.
Ynet's veteran defense analyst Ron Ben Yishai reported that one of the reasons that Hamas was prepared to face Israeli ground troops in the Shejaiya neighborhood, where IDF suffered 13 killed in one day of fighting, is that the residents were given ample advance notice of the IDF's intent to enter the neighborhood.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz took pride in the fact that the IDF takes such care to notify residents of its attack plans. “We cannot agree for Hamas to place civilians in our path,” he said earlier this week. “So what we have done is to warn the civilians over and over again to evacuate. There are no armies like this, which drop leaflets, call on the phone, bomb next to the target or carry out a 'knock on the roof,' and even disperse the residents with smoke.”There used to be one. It was King Saul's army which warned the Keini nation to leave Amalek before he attacked (1 Samuel 15).
For those who read Hebrew, there's a much lengthier piece on this issue from Ben Caspit here.