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Since even the minimal interdiction against murdering a Gentile outright applies only to 'Gentiles with whom we [the Jews] are not at war', various rabbinical commentators in the past drew the logical conclusion that in wartime all Gentiles belonging to a hostile population may, or even should be killed.
Since 1973 this doctrine is being publicly propagated for the guidance of religious Israeli soldiers.
Although the state's criminal laws make no distinction between Jew and Gentile, such distinction is certainly made by Orthodox rabbis, who in guiding their flock follow the Halakhah.
Yosef Karo in the late 16th century as a popular condensation of his own much more voluminous Beys Yosef which was intended for the advanced scholar.
The same doctrine is expounded in the following exchange of letters between a young Israeli soldier and his rabbi, published in the yearbook of one of the country's most prestigious religious colleges, Midrashiyyat No'am, where many leaders and activists of the National Religious Party and Gush Emunim have been educated. I could not arrive at a clear decision, whether Arabs should be treated like the Amalekites, meaning that one is permitted to murder [sic ] them until their remembrance is blotted out from under heaven, or perhaps one should do as in a just war, in which one kills only the soldiers?
With God's help, to His Honor, my dear Rabbi, 'First I would like to ask how you and your family are. 'A second problem I have is whether I am permitted to put myself in danger by allowing a woman to stay alive?
It is however correct to assume that the compilation referred to reproduces faithfully the meaning of the talmudic text and the additions made by later scholars on the basis of that meaning.
The earliest code of talmudic law which is still of major importance is the Misbneh Tarab written by Moses Maimonides in the late 12th century.
But according to the sayings of our sages, of blessed memory, [ ...