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Halutz, the former commander of the Israeli Air Force, was chosen despite his refusal to express remorse over the killing of Palestinian children in the aerial bombings he ordered in the course of al-Aqsa Intifada.
In 2002, an Israeli F-16 fighter-bomber, at Halutz's instructions, dropped a one-tonne bomb on a Gaza apartment building, killing Salah Shahada, a Hamas resistance leader, and 15 civilians, including 11 children.
Halutz also instructed Israeli helicopter gunships and pilotless aicraft to target Palestinian activists along with their families and children in their own homes, or while travelling on crowded streets - a directive thought to be responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians.
Some Israeli commentators have suggested that the elevation of Halutz is an indication of the possibility of Israel launching an attack Iran's nuclear facilities.