Israeli Army Slams ‘Defeatist’ Pledge to Curb Civilian Deaths in Next War

Foreign Ministry Promised to Limit White Phosphorus Use Against Civilians

A number of top ranking members of the Israeli military are expressing “outrage” at a pledge by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to curb the number of civilians killed in the next Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Ministry report detailed a number of operational changes which will be made to limit civilian casualties, including restricting the use of white phosphorus munitions against civilian areas. The use of such munitions was among the many serious criticisms of Israel’s last Gaza invasion.

Yet members of the military say that the promise is unrealistic and is setting up false expectations, and would unfairly hamper the way the military operates. One of the officials also condemned the Foreign Ministry as having a “defeatist” attitude.

Israel launched its most recent invasion of the Gaza Strip in January 2009, an attack which killed over 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians. The Israeli government had previously expressed outrage at criticism of the large civilian death toll, but has recently attempted to make assurances that major changes have been made that would prevent the death toll from happening again.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.