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Israeli army admits to operational failures in deadly Egypt incident

The investigation of the Israeli army into the deadly incident last week on the Egyptian border found several operational failures.
Israeli soldiers console one another outside the Mount Harif military base.

The Israeli army published on Tuesday its investigation into the June 3 shooting incident at the Egyptian border, where an Egyptian border policeman killed three IDF soldiers on the Israeli side, revealing a series of operational errors on the part of the military units stationed at the scene.

According to the IDF probe, the Egyptian policeman was probably familiar with the movements of the Israeli forces and knew about a small emergency opening in the fence that was sealed with only plastic handcuffs. The two Israeli soldiers stationed near the fence at the time — Lia Ben Nun and Uri Itzhak Ilouz — apparently did not know about the small opening. Only the fighters of IDF units specialized in thwarting drug smuggling from Egypt were informed about it. The Egyptian assailant entered Israeli territory and marched a few kilometers until reaching the isolated post of Ben Nun and Ilouz, where he shot and killed both.

The bodies of Ben Nun and Ilouz were discovered by other IDF soldiers only two hours later, prompting them to go out on a manhunt after the policeman. The investigation by the army revealed that some of the soldiers tracking the assailant did not wear helmets. One of the soldiers — Ohad Dahan — was shot and killed by the assailant in an exchange of fire. The probe found that the IDF soldiers operated correctly. 

The probe criticized the procedure of assigning two soldiers (Ben Nun and Ilouz) to an isolated post for a long period of 12 hours. It also criticized the decision banning the use of phones in operational isolated posts and found some of the communication procedures between the different units deployed in the area were faulty.

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