Israeli Army’s Chief Legal Adviser Warns Soldiers to Avoid “Inappropriate Behavior” in Gaza | Recent Developments in Israel’s Conflict with Gaza

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Soldiers who have engaged in unjustified use of force, looting, and other criminal actions in Gaza may face consequences, according to Major-General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, the military advocate general of the Israeli military. In a letter issued on Wednesday, Tomer-Yerushalmi warned against improper conduct, stating that the severity of the soldiers’ actions over nearly five months of the war cannot be overstated. The actions include unjustified use of force, destruction of civilian property, looting, and inappropriate statements that encourage unacceptable actions. These actions, which deviate from orders and disciplinary boundaries, do not meet the military’s values and have caused strategic damage to Israel’s reputation in the international arena.

Tomer-Yerushalmi emphasized that several cases are being investigated, and the Military Advocate General Corps would determine if criminal or disciplinary measures are necessary. She condemned the acts and statements, stating that they have no place in the Israeli military, and are contrary to the army’s professionalism, morality, and dignity.

The letter comes as the Israeli army faces backlash for mistreatment of Palestinian detainees, as well as videos showing soldiers mocking and looting from Palestinians. The conduct of the war has sparked international pressure on Israel, with several countries urging a halt to the offensive in Gaza. South Africa has even lodged a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, alleging genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. In response to the criticism, Herzi Halevi, the Israeli military’s chief of staff, emphasized the importance of maintaining humanity and values in the conduct of the war, stating that the army is not engaging in acts of revenge or genocide, and must distinguish between terrorists and non-combatants.

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