IDF chief Kohavi: In combat, losses are unavoidable

“A society that fails to back its troops and commanders, even when they err, will end up with no one to fight for it,” Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi noted in a special missive he issued in response to widespread criticism of the circumstances in which the Border Police officer Barel Shmueli was shot at point blank range by a Gaza rioter on Aug. 21. He did not survive his wounds. “In the course of combat, decisions are made on the spot in uncertain conditions and mistakes are possible,” Kohavi said. The subsequent investigation found that the Northern Gaza Brigade commander’s response was slow when the rioters rushed the border fence, and should have pulled the troops back earlier. But there was no breach in the rules of engagement.

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