After war crimes allegations following last summer’s Gaza war, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday, “I can still look at myself in the mirror.”
Ya’alon recounted targeting decisions in which he was involved when Hizbullah was purposely placing weapons in civilian homes in Lebanon. “If we don’t intercept the rocket-launchers in advance, [Israeli] civilians will be hurt, if not killed. If we hit the launchers, it will hurt or kill Lebanese civilians.” He said a “long, deep discussion” regarding the “moral and legal considerations” took place before the final decision to strike the rocket launchers.
“Later we were blamed for collateral damage and killing civilians,” but maintained that the IDF had done what it had to do then, “did it again in Gaza, [and] will do it in any round of hostilities in the future.” At the same time, he said that sometimes the IDF worked so hard to avoid civilian casualties that it gave extensive warnings to people to leave an area, and thereby “loses tactical surprise – but we still do it.”