Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 16:40 Following the publication of the investigations opened by the Military Advocate General concerning IDF operations in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge, Honenu calls on soldiers and officers in need of legal counsel to turn to the organization for assistance from expert attorneys. Since its founding in 2001 Honenu has provided legal assistance to IDF soldiers, policemen and civilians who found themselves in legal entanglements due to defending themselves against Arab aggression, or due to their love for Israel.
During the course of the fighting in the Gaza Strip (Operation Protective Edge) Honenu’s
staff distributed thousands of “legal first aid” cards to IDF soldiers serving in the south of Israel so that in the event that an investigation is opened against them, they would know how best to react initially and how to receive assistance from the organization. Honenu also organized a group of attorneys who signed a statement in support of the soldiers.
“Unfortunately our predictions materialized and indeed investigations were opened against IDF soldiers for their actions in combat,” said Honenu. “We mobilized to give legal support to the soldiers because it is inconceivable that our soldiers will think twice before they protect their lives and ours. We call on soldiers to contact Honenu’s legal headquarters for assistance.”
Honenu would like to remind the public that the organization’s expert attorneys announced during Operation Protective Edge that they would, in cooperation with Honenu, provide legal counsel to IDF soldiers and other security forces of all ranks who participated in the fighting in the event that an investigation was opened against them.
The attorneys, among them Tzion Amir, Sheshi Guez, Adi Kedar, Asher Ohion, Chai Haber, Avraham Piro, David HaLevi, Yehuda Shushan, Aharon Roza, Uri Keinan, Tzvika Singer, Yossi Lin and Barak Friedman, signed a statement written by Professor Eliav Shochetman and Dr. Harel Arnon, according to which the IDF did not violate international law during the fighting. The statement was in response to a letter in which left-wing organizations claimed that the IDF committed “war crimes”.
“The first obligation of the State of Israel is to her citizens and her soldiers,” read the statement, which was sent to the Attorney General during the time of fighting in the Gaza Strip. “Therefore [the State] has no obligation to refrain from military operations which are necessary in order to protect Israeli civilians or soldiers which are liable to injure residents of the Gaza Strip.”
“One must not accept a legal claim which is tantamount to loss of life of either Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers,” stressed the attorneys who are experts in international law and added that, “The fundamental principles of our legal methods and those of Jewish ethics necessitate that the conclusion is that one must protect one’s own life before protecting that of another and certainly before protecting the lives of the enemy.”