World Bulletin/News Desk
The Israeli army asked its soldiers to write farewell letters to their relatives in advance of their deployment to the Gaza Strip during Israel's recent military onslaught on the coastal territory, the Knesset's oversight committee said Tuesday.
Israeli opposition MP Omer Bar-Lev, who leads the Knesset's military manpower subcommittee, said his committee had reviewed a number of orders issued by military officers asking soldiers to write farewell letters to their relatives ahead of the war, which spanned 51 days throughout July and August.
Bar-Lev went on to denounce the Israeli army's failure to send a representative to address parliamentarians in the review session, which was held on Monday evening.
The army's failure to send a representative to the review session, Bar-Lev asserted, had "demonstrated contempt for the Knesset" and "showed that the army has not internalized the significance of what such orders [to write farewell letters] do to the psyche of a soldier on the cusp of combat."
Retired Israeli general Yitzhak Brik, who attended the review session, said that writing farewell letters on the eve of war "intensifies a soldier's fears," going on to describe the orders as "unfathomable."
The Israeli army has yet to comment on the outcome of the Knesset session.
At least 68 Israeli soldiers were killed during the recent onslaught on Gaza, which ended with an August 26 cease-fire agreement with Palestinian resistance factions.
During its 51-day offensive, Israel killed more than 2,160 Palestinians and injured some 11,000 others – the vast majority of them civilians – while leaving vast swathes of the Gaza Strip's critical infrastructure in ruins.
Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2014, 13:58