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IDF chief says Israel is fighting 'a long and just war'

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi (Photo: IDF)

In a letter sent to military commanders on Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said the Israeli military is fighting “a long and just war” and that "We still have a long way to go."

"Every move is very important, every local achievement is part of realizing the goals of the war. Do it with determination and professionalism," Halevi wrote.

“We are not on a killing, revenge or a genocide spree. We have come to win and defeat a cruel enemy who deserves a bitter loss,” Halevi added.

Halevi’s letter was headlined, “Commanding challenges in a prolonged war” and appeared to be preparing the troops for the fighting ahead on the northern, central and southern fronts, advising commanders about the various types of actions that must be taken. 

The IDF chief of staff noted that the Israeli army operates very humanely compared to Hamas and other terrorist organizations but also reminded Israeli soldiers to adhere to the military’s high moral standards.

“We act like human beings and, unlike our enemy, maintain our humanity. We must be careful not to use force where it is not required, to distinguish between a terrorist and those who are not, not to take anything that is not ours – a souvenir or weapons – and not to film revenge videos,” Halevi said.

Also on Tuesday, the IDF chief announced that the IDF will begin the process of investigating its failures on Oct. 7, including the lead-up to the massacre and the failure to react in time, as well as the ongoing war.

In his letter to the commanders, Halevi wrote that the investigation is a “duty” and a “necessity” to safeguard Israel in the future.

“We have the duty to investigate. This is a necessity and not a privilege,” Halevi wrote, adding: “We will carry out the investigations with five leading values: truth, relevance, transparency, responsibility and togetherness.”

“Only then will we be able to understand how we could have acted, and how we will act in the future, to better protect the citizens of Israel. Each unit will investigate the battles and the events in which they participated and we will investigate up the chain of command, rank for rank,” he continued.

“At this stage, the IDF will investigate the opening events [of the war], but a unit on a break from the fighting, will also have to investigate the events that followed - in the name of learning and preventing the loss of knowledge.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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