The IDF has submitted its review of a botched commando raid in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on November 11, 2018 to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. The military launched two investigations into the raid, which left an IDF lieutenant-colonel dead, and a second officer seriously injured.
Lt.-Col. M, a husband and father of two, was killed by accident, the result of stray friendly fire, according to the report.
Six Hamas terrorists were killed in the ensuing gun battle, including Khan Younis Hamas commander Nour Barakeh. Following the shootout, Hamas published photos of eight soldiers and two vehicles the terror group said had participated in the raid; the publication of that material by Israeli news outlets was immediately banned by Israel’s military censor.
Prime Minister / Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, in recent weeks, held security discussions during which he was presented with the results of the investigation into the Khan Younis operation.
“The lessons will be learned and the recommendations will be implemented,” Netanyahu said. “I commend the courage of the soldiers and pilots who operated in very difficult conditions, and the heroic rescue action. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I would like to stand by the family of Lt.-Col. M for his heroism and his efforts.”
According to the IDF, the commandos were not engaged in carrying out a targeted assassination or kidnapping at the time they were exposed; rather, they were carrying out “a lengthy operation.”
The findings of the review by the special committee established to investigate and learn from the mishap were also presented to the commanders of the Special Forces, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, the Head of the Operations Directorate, the Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, and the Head of the General Staff Review Committee, Maj. Gen (Res.) Nitzan Alon.