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Tags: Israel | legal.advice | military

Israel to Seek Legal Advice in Military Moves

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 09:54 AM EST

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has issued an order requiring the Israel Defense Forces to consult with the army's legal advisers while military operations are underway and not just when they are being planned.

Ashkenazi imposed the stricter regulations despite opposition by several commanders, including members of the General Staff.

In making that decision, Ashkenazi has essentially accepted the viewpoint of Military Advocate General Avichai Mendelblit.

However, in an effort to keep the legal advisers from disrupting the combat, the IDF has decided they will work only with the divisional headquarters while operations are underway - rather than with brigade or battalion headquarters, as is common in some Western armies, including the U.S. military.

During Operation Cast Lead and in some other major IDF operations, legal advisers took part in the planning as well as the selection and approval of targets for destruction. However, legal advisers were rarely consulted once the combat began.

Last winter's operation in the Gaza Strip saw a gradual change on this issue, but it was only in recent months that the chief of staff reached a definitive position.

Meanwhile, greater emphasis has been placed on training officers in the rules of war and international law, as part of officer training courses at the level of company, battalion and brigade commanders.

To read full Haaretz story — Go Here Now.

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Wednesday, 06 January 2010 09:54 AM
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