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As border guard’s death criticized, IDF chief denies soldiers overly restricted

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Israel Defense Forces chief Aviv Kohavi defended the military on Thursday against ongoing criticism of its top brass over the death of a Border Police sniper, who was shot by a Palestinian gunman at point-blank range last month during a riot along the Gaza border.

After the border guard, Barel Hadaria Shmueli, was shot and critically wounded during the riot on August 21, allegations emerged that the reason why the shooter was able to get so close to the border barrier was due to overly-restrictive rules of engagement, which prevented troops from opening fire at the rioters as they approached the border.

Shmueli died of his injuries on Monday, leading such claims to intensify. In particular, some opponents of the current government have asserted that it has imposed new restrictions on troops along the border, due to its dependence on the Arab Ra’am party.

In a speech, Kohavi dismissed allegations that the rules of engagement or a lack of equipment were to blame for Shmueli’s death.

“The soldiers and commanders are equipped with all of the tools and with open-fire rules that are clear. Claims to the contrary are baseless and are nothing but........

© The Times of Israel

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