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 Monday, 27 January, 2003, 17:41 GMT
Israeli officer rapped for blocking raid
Jenin
The officer believed innocent lives would be lost
An Israeli officer has been removed from his post for obstructing an air attack against the Palestinians.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Maariv, the military intelligence officer held back information "for reasons of conscience" because he believed the raid would harm civilians.

The attack followed the double suicide bombings on 5 January in Tel Aviv which left 23 dead, in addition to the two bombers.
Emergency workers attend to a woman hit in the Tel Aviv bombings
23 died in the double suicide attack on Tel Aviv

The unidentified lieutenant failed to pass on information regarding a possible attack on a Palestinian target in a West Bank city or the Gaza Strip, the newspaper reports.

The officer told a military tribunal he had acted out of conscience, saying innocent people would have been killed.

He is said to have described his orders as illegal under international law.

An army spokesman confirmed to news agencies that the officer had been moved, but gave no more details.

He has been reportedly reassigned to an intelligence base in Israel and is performing administrative duties.

'War crimes'

By law, an army officer must refuse an "illegal" order when he believes it will lead to a war crime.

Israel's Supreme Court rejected last month an appeal by a group of reserve soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories.

The campaigners belong to "Courage to Refuse" - which rallies conscientious objectors who consider areas gained by Israel during the 1967 war to be occupied illegally.

Another 500 officers and reservists have signed a petition against serving in the territories.


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27 Jan 03 | Middle East
12 Feb 02 | Middle East
24 Jan 03 | Middle East
30 Dec 02 | Middle East
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