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Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Israel 'no mercy' officer rebuked

Israeli soldiers patrol near Israel-Gaza Border on 20/1/09
The Israeli military campaign in Gaza lasted three weeks

The Israeli military says it has "severely reprimanded" an officer who distributed a booklet to troops that advised they show no mercy to enemies.

The unnamed officer distributed the booklet to troops during the Israeli offensive in Gaza. It said the soldiers were fighting "murderers".

The military said its chief rabbi, Gen Avichai Rontzki, did not know of the booklet before it was given out.

A rights group said the booklet bordered on "incitement to racism".

The army described the case as an isolated incident.

The booklet cites an ultra-nationalist civilian rabbi who supports the Jewish settler movement in the West Bank.

The rights group, Yesh Din, said the booklet's contents could be "interpreted as a call to act outside the confines of international laws of war".

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