Israel to end case against rabbi calling for Gazans to be killed

An Israeli rabbi called for Palestinians in Gaza to be killed, including the elderly and children [Getty]

Israeli police are recommending that a case against a key rabbi be closed over ‘genocidal’ remarks he made in March when saying that Jewish religious law requires the killing of everyone in Gaza, including babies and the elderly.

The case was opened following a complaint that Rabbi Eliyahu Mali’s remarks constituted incitement, while a final decision to close the case is up to the prosecutor’s office.

Mali is the founder of a ‘hesder’ yeshiva, an Orthodox Jewish seminary that combines religious study with army service.

He made the comments during a yeshiva conference on 7 March, where he was discussing the need for war to fulfil religious commandments. He said he wouldn’t leave “a soul” alive in Gaza.

In the conference he added people in Gaza are the “children of the prior [military] operations that left them alive” and that “the women are essentially the ones who are producing the terrorists”.

He also said that as well as teenagers and men, Israeli forces should be “quick to kill” future generations.

Speaking to attendees, he specified that everyone must directly follow Israeli army orders, acknowledging that he may face some backlash for his comments if they are posted online.

The investigation was opened against him after Eitay Mack, a lawyer representing the anti-racism organisation Tag Meir, reported Mali and called for a criminal investigation into his remarks.

The recommendation to shelve the case comes amidst Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza, which has killed over 37,396 Palestinians since October and wounded at least 85,523 others. Most of the casualties have been women and children.

The war on the besieged Strip has levelled entire neighbourhoods and destroyed most of the enclave’s infrastructure.

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