IDF to begin probe into response to Oct. 7 attack
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi speaks to troops at the Gaza border, Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo: IDF)

The investigation will also look into the period leading up to the Hamas-led massacre.

JNS Staff Report
February 20, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces in the coming days will start an internal investigation into the military’s response to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led massacre and the period preceding the cross-border invasion.

Army commanders will be leading the probe, including from the Gaza Division; Unit 8200, the Military Intelligence Directorate’s main information-gathering unit; the Southern Command; and the Operations Directorate, responsible for preparing the IDF for war.

The investigation is expected to conclude toward May, after which external investigations will take place carried out by military inspection committees led by retired generals to get a fuller picture of the events leading up to, during and after Oct. 7.

Dismissals and resignations may only be accepted after the internal IDF investigation finishes.

️”Soon we will begin the process of investigating the events of October 7th and what led to them, despite the fact that we are still at war. In the name of learning, we have the duty to investigate. This is a necessity and not a privilege. This is the only way we can understand how we could have acted and how we will act in the future to better protect the citizens of Israel,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi wrote in letter to commanders.

“I trust the IDF’s ability to conduct a true and thorough investigation. Work first to build a common factual basis for the investigation, and then move on to thinking and formulating the conclusions and lessons. We will carry out the investigations in light of five leading values: Truth, matter-of-factness, transparency, responsibility and deep friendship.”

Hamas planned to take over prison, release inmates

During the Oct. 7 invasion, Hamas planned to take over Ashkelon’s Shikma Prison and free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism and security offensives.

That is according to a report published Tuesday in the London-based pan-Arab Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, which cited unnamed Palestinian sources.

According to the report, one of the first groups of terrorists that entered Israel at the Erez crossing headed towards the prison but deviated from the mission due to an “unknown technical reason” as the terrorist cell’s guide for GPS and maps directed the group southward.

The squad of 23 Nukhba commandoes reached as far north as Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, engaging in a gun battle there and killing several people before apparently losing its way, heading west and then south to Moshav Netiv Ha’asara on the Gaza border, before going to the city of Sderot to murder people and battle Israeli security forces.

They were supposed to free the prisoners with the assistance of another terrorist squad assigned to conquer a military post in the Ashkelon region. The plan was to assault the prison by “attacking the main gate using explosive devices” to spark a riot that would lead to the liberating of the inmates.

Another cell that infiltrated Kibbutz Zikim was then ordered to reach the prison but was stopped by Israeli forces on the ground before being eliminated in airstrikes.

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