Commander Hagai Mordechai of the Judea and Samaria (Shomron) Division of the Israel Defense Forces told the widow and other relatives of Rabbi Dan Mertzbach of Otniel, Monday, that the rabbi's behavior behind the wheel was not to blame when he was shot to death and two women riding in his car were wounded by a soldier at a Hevron-area checkpoint in November of 2011. The brigadier-general presented the family with the security video from the incident and the results of the IDF's investigation, calling "Rabbi Dan's" behavior "impeccable and without blemish". He said the military took full responsibility despite the recent decision to close the case against the soldier who fired the shots, out of legal considerations.
The family complained about the time it took the military to quash the rumors that the rabbi was driving at excessive speed without his lights on and tried to run down the soldier, among other things. They also complained about having to find out through the media about the closing of the case against the soldier.