"I am responsible for the order to open fire," said IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi. "You are not alone and will not be alone."


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IDF chief of staff criticizes ICC war crimes probe of Israel

Article’s tags: International Law, October 7

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi overlooks a military exercise (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi overlooks a military exercise (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Aviv Kohavi on Sunday criticized the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel, saying he supports IDF soldiers and their actions, N12 reported. "I am responsible for the order to open fire," said Kohavi. "I sent you and authorized your operations. You are not alone and will not be alone.

"The decision by the lead prosecutor of the ICC to open an investigation of the IDF and Israel is the crossing of a red line," Kohavi stressed. Kohavi returned to Israel on Thursday after a three-day diplomatic trip alongside President Reuven Rivlin to Austria, France and Germany where the two warned of the ICC probe and new negotiations with Iran. 

Kohavi referred to the decision as morally distorted, and criticized the court for directing its investigation toward Israel instead of toward those who actually ignore the international law. 

"Our enemies are those who chose to position themselves in populated areas and to store thousands of missiles and rockets that by definition, harm citizens," Kohavi said. "Those who reject assaulting an apartment that houses terrorists sponsors crimes against soldiers," he added.  

Kohavi noted that the IDF has always ensured to carry out its operations professionally and morally, while combining the protection of its citizens alongside maintaining international law. 

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Finally, Kohavi blamed the ICC for being "disconnected from the complexities of wars in this day and age," calling on the international community to adapt the patterns of modern warfare with the international law. "The Hauge is an old world, the Middle East in a new battlefield," he concluded, promising to support IDF soldiers in face of any allegation.On March 4, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she was opening a full war crimes probe against Israel and the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.

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