Associated Press
August 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli military says it will assign officers to protect civilians in combat zones during wartime.

The move appears to be a response to international criticism of Israel for high civilian death tolls in recent wars in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

The military says an officer in each battalion will be responsible for planning and marking evacuation corridors for civilians in combat areas.

Lt. Col. Shuki Shine says the officer will specify where soldiers cannot shoot and will also ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 900 civilians died during Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza last year. Lebanese say more than 1,100 people died during Israel's 2006 offensive in Lebanon.


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