Israel's top general urges proportionate force amid attacks

JERUSALEM -- Israel's top general said Wednesday that soldiers must use proportionate force when dealing with a wave of Palestinian attacks.

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Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that when "there is a 13-year-old girl who is holding scissors or a knife and there is a barrier between her and the soldiers, I wouldn't want a soldier to open fire and empty a cartridge on a girl like that even if she commits a very serious act." He urged soldiers to use only "necessary force."

He made the remarks in a meeting with Israeli high school students.

The remarks come amid Palestinian and international criticism that Israel is using excessive force in trying to subdue the five month-long outburst of violence, which has killed 27 Israelis. Some 162 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, among them 115 said by Israel to be attackers. Many have been teenagers.

Eisenkot says soldiers can respond in life-threatening situations.



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