Hamas has proven that it will do all in its power to put Gaza civilians in the line of fire, but the IDF (Zahal) does all it can to ensure their safety. We bring you an exclusive look into the message that was delivered to IDF (Zahal) soldiers fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
As our soldiers entered Gaza, they did so with this reminder of their obligations in their pockets. The message is the text of the Purity of Arms article of the IDF (Zahal)’s Code of Ethics. It instructs our troops not to forget their humanity during combat, respect all human rights and minimize harm to civilians. The special message was signed with a quote from the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, emphasizing the importance of preventing civilian casualties.
As the IDF (Zahal) reminded soldiers of their obligations to Gaza’s civilians, Hamas sent the opposite message to its fighters. The terrorist organization printed and disseminated combat manuals that encouraged terrorists to use Gaza’s population as a human shield. One manual explicitly instructs fighters to store explosives and other weapons in civilian homes.
The following is the full transcript of the message:
Purity of Arms – The IDF (Zahal) soldiers will use their weapons and force only for the purpose of their mission, only to the necessary extent and will maintain their humanity even during combat. IDF (Zahal) soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property.
“We have a moral obligation to do whatever we can to prevent civilian casualties, and simultaneously face a moral obligation to protect our citizens.”
Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.