Israel: Controversial officer sworn in as new chief of staff
A controversial Israeli military officer on Wednesday was sworn in as Israel's new chief of staff, replacing Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon who is retiring from active service.
Dan Halutz, 57, the oldest chief of staff in Israel's history, was promoted to lieutenant-General at a ceremony in Jerusalem Wednesday, becoming Israel's 18th chief of staff.
During the four years of al Aqsa intifada, Halutz was commander of the Israeli Air Force and was responsible for giving instructions that caused the death of many Palestinians, including children.
In 2002, Halutz ordered the Israeli air force to drop a one-ton bomb on a Gaza apartment complex, killing eleven children, along with Salah Shehadeh, a prominent Hamas leader. Halutz never apologized for the killing of these innocent children. On the contrary, he told an Israeli newspaper in 2004, "I sleep well at night and my conscience is clear."
Some Israeli politicians and human right groups have objected to appointing Halutz at the helm of the Israeli army. However, these reservations were dismissed by the Israeli political-military establishment.