Jerusalem, 12 September 1994

IDF SPOKESMAN’S RESPONSE TO B’TSELEM REPORT ON CONDUCT OF SECURITY FORCES TOWARD LOCAL POPULATION DURING OPERATIONAL ACTIVITY

The following refers to aspects in the B’tselem report regarding the IDF only, and not the Civil Administration.

The IDF’s guiding principle is to make a concerted effort to pinpoint and apprehend perpetrators of violent activities in general, and terrorist activities in particular, while attempting to prevent harm to the general local population.

The IDF differentiates in its assumptions and actions between the innocent local inhabitants and perpetrators of violent activities. The IDF has specific modes of operation intended to bring the loss of life to an absolute minimum.

Searches in localities are conducted on the basis of information pointing to the existence of suspects in terrorist activities or weapons and any inciteful materials.

Prior to taking control of a residence known to be a hideout for ‘wanted terrorists’, the IDF takes extensive measures to prevent casualties. Residents are called upon to exit their homes in advance and the IDF permits ‘the wanted terrorists’ to exit and surrender themselves in an attempt to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. Frequently, large quantities of weapons including pistols, explosives, and automatic weapons have been seized in these actions. The very existence of such weapons in the hands of terrorists could possibly have caused injury and death to IDF soldiers and innocent civilians.

In instances when property is damaged as a result of IDF activities, the affected residents are entitled to receive compensation from the Civil Administration. As a matter of principle, all claims regarding deliberate damage by IDF soldiers are investigated.