Daily Israel Report

“Barak is Responsible for My Brother’s Death”

Brother of Madhat Yousuf, an IDF soldier killed in Joseph's Tomb in 2000, speaks to Arutz 7.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/4/2010, 4:12 AM

As the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the barbaric  war of terror against Israeli civilians  that followed the Oslo Accords, often called the "Second Intifada" by the media, is being marked in the past few days, there have been several mentions in the media of the failed rescue of Israeli soldier Madhat Yousuf a decade ago.

Yousuf was shot on October 1, 2000, when an Arab mob took over Joseph’s Tomb and burned down the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva that had stood there for 25 years.  Yousuf, who was hit in the neck, was not rescued in time and bled to death.

The Israeli media reported that a rescue operation had been planned but was not carried out. The operation was put together by the IDF Central Command to be used precisely in the event that Arab rioters and PA police officers surround the site of Joseph’s Tomb and try to overtake it. However, the operation, planned four months prior to the October 2000 takeover, never materialized and led to the tragedy in which Madhat Yousuf to find his death in the riot.

Arutz-7 spoke on Sunday with Yousuf’s brother, Mahdi Yousuf, who placed the blame on Ehud Barak, who at the time was Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

“There was no military operation,” said Mahdi Yousuf. “They relied on foreign officials. Since when does the IDF rely on foreign officials? It was the same Palestinian policemen who injured him. They are the ones who are supposed to rescue him? It's crazy. How could a human brain think of that? Ehud Barak is responsible for my brother’s death. He was Prime Minister and Minister of Defense at the time and unfortunately despite it all, he has advanced in his ranking.”

Mahdi Yousef added that during the mourning period for his brother, he had a conversation with then-Chief of Staff Sha'ul Mofaz who told him that the order not to carry out the rescue operation had come from Barak. “He told me and my father that someone above him gave him the order. He was then Chief of Staff so the only person above him was the Defense Minister and Prime Minister. Ehud Barak."

“Barak did not want an escalation and that is why he did not carry out the operation,” said Mahdi Yousuf. “But why maintain this policy when a solldier is writhing in pain for five hours until he has no blood left in him?”

He added that to this day, Barak has failed to respond to these accusations, despite being presented with them by the producers of a television movie about the incident. “A clerk responded on his behalf and said that he had not interest in the incident. He never even sent a telegram of condolences,” said Yousuf.

“I do not want to chop off heads. I want only the truth. I want to restore the IDF's ethical code to normal. After all, the value of not abandoning a soldier is taught in basic training. The commanders who were there and abandoned him do not deserve to be our commanders. They abandoned all the values of the IDF. We are still requesting an inquiry commission headed by a judge in the presence of a representative of the family,” concluded the bereaved brother.