Nir Oz following the October 7 massacre
Nir Oz following the October 7 massacreChaim Goldberg/Flash90

The findings of an investigation regarding the functioning of the IAF during the abduction of Efrat Katz from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz were presented Friday to her family and the families of the hostages involved in the incident.

Katz was killed during the surprise murderous attack led by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th. In the attack, 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed and 250 were taken hostage to Gaza.

The investigation was carried out by a designated team established under the direction of the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, in order to examine the issue, parallel to the in-depth examinations of all the combat incidents on the 7th of October.

The investigation was carried out based on the videos of the strike from the combat helicopter fighting in the area at the same time, the UAV, the security cameras of Kibbutz Nir Oz, and based on the testimonies of the aerial crews that operated in the area, as well as the family members of Efrat Katz and other witnesses who were there at the time of the incident.

On the 7th of October, the IDF failed its mission to protect civilians and went to war. During the surprise attack, Hamas and other terrorist organizations invaded several Israeli communities, murdering both Israeli and foreign citizens.

From the findings of the investigation, it appears that during the battles and the airstrikes, one of the combat helicopters that took part in the fighting, fired at a vehicle that had terrorists in it, and which, in retrospect, based on the testimonies, also had hostages in it.

As a result of the fire, most of the terrorists manning the vehicle were killed, and most likely, Efrat Katz was killed as well.

The investigative team's conclusions stated that as long as Israeli hostages were present in the moving vehicle, they could not be distinguished by the existing surveillance systems, and the shooting was defined as shooting at a vehicle with terrorists.

Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, summarized the findings of the incident and emphasized that the IAF carried out an honest and transparent investigation, out of a deep commitment to the bereaved family and the families of the hostages.

He also received the results of the team's investigation while noting that the findings refer to the IAF's part in this incident.

"This is a tragic and unfortunate event that took place in the midst of fighting and conditions of uncertainty," an IDF statement read. "The commander of the Air Force did not find fault in the operation by the helicopter crew, who operated in compliance with the orders in a complex reality of war."

"The findings of the investigative team were presented to the bereaved family and to the families of the hostages. The IDF shares in the grief of the Katz family and the Nir Oz community.

"Along with the continuation of the war, the IDF continues to examine the events of the 7th of October, including the events in Nir Oz. When complete, the findings will be presented transparently to the public," the IDF concluded.