"I don’t want a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors," Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said last month. The call for restraint of the use of force amid increasing tensions between Israel and Palestine has received heavy criticism in recent weeks.
Israeli’s chief Sepherdic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, in his weekly Torah lesson, urged soldiers to ignore the Army Chief’s orders for restraint in the battlefield, as well as court rulings declaring it illegal to employ deadly force against an armed individual who does not present a lethal threat.
Yosef, instead, called for killing of any "armed Palestinian," whether that they possess a gun or a rock, Haaretz reported.
Yosef declared that it was a "religious imperative" for Jews to killed armed enemies and demanded that troops openly ignore the rulings of the High Court and orders of military officials. The religious leader says that the killings, whether or not justified as self-defense, would nonetheless serve as a deterrent.
The call for near total war came during a sermon on the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. The book declares it the religious imperative of Jews to exterminate all Amalekites, an historical enemy of the Hebrews. The Rabbi suggest that the Palestinians are Amalekites, and states that it is not only permissible to kill them, but also a religious duty.
After openly calling for genocide against Palestinians, Yosef modified his rhetoric declaring it "impossible" to know who is or isn’t an Amalekite so, rather than killing those who Israel "isn’t sure" is an enemy, they should instead imprison these individuals for life, or until the return of a Messiah.