Yossi Dagan and Tzvi Sukkot
Yossi Dagan and Tzvi Sukkotself photo

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, revealed an official IDF document proving that, unlike the accusations sounded in the media, mainly by journalists and leftists, no IDF troops had been transferred from Gaza to Samaria on the day before October 7, and certainly not specifically to protect the protest tent set up by MK Zvi Sukkot in Huwara, following the attacks that took place there.

The document officially proves that the transfer of the forces to reinforcement positions throughout Samaria was part of a quarterly IDF plan from as early as August last year, and therefore is not connected to MK Zvi Sukkot's protest tent.

According to the quarterly plan from August, which was disclosed by the head of the Samaria Council, no battalions were brought there from Gaza, but according to the same pre-planned reinforcement program, a large force of soldiers from the Egoz unit – as defined in the document as "General Staff Reserve" (meaning soldiers not belonging to the Gaza area) - replaced a group of soldiers from Bahad 1, while a week later those Egoz soldiers were due to be replaced by soldiers from the Kedem battalion of the Home Front Command.

As mentioned, the document proves without doubt that the plan for the soldiers to be replaced was issued already in August for the coming quarter.

The document also officially proves that the Egoz soldiers arrived in Huwara about 12 hours before the serious shooting attack there (the "range attack" with the gun aimed at a vehicle caught in traffic), and after that MK Zvi Sukkot set up his protest tent in Huwara.

The soldiers arrived in the morning, while the attack and the protest tent that followed occurred in the evening. This proves that the IDF forces were not brought to Huwara to protect MK Sukkot’s protest tent.

A group of publicists, journalists and tweeters claimed as early as October 7 and the following days that the massacre was enabled in part because battalions were moved from the south to Samaria on the evening prior to October 7, in order to protect Huwara and MK Zvi Sukkot's protest tent. By doing this, they tried to point the finger at the settlers in Samaria as being responsible for the circumstances that led to the massacre of October 7. This subject has been a cause of a heated debate in the media in recent months.

Dagan already put in an urgent request on December 21 to publish the documents proving the military replacements. As he did not receive a reply, he applied through a lawyer to receive this information on January 10, 2024, demanding the receipt of the documents in question, but nevertheless the documents have not yet been delivered.

Now, after much effort and in light of the mutual legal proceedings last week between MK Zvi Sukkot and head of the Samaria Council Yossi Dagan, and Major General Dan Harel, Dagan has revealed the military document, which clearly states the facts and refutes the claims.

At the time Major General Dan Harel made the accusation that on the eve of the massacre, a battalion and a half of the reserve duty soldiers around the Gaza Strip were transferred to guard MK Zvi Sukkot’s protest tent in Huwara, as well as the fact that in the time before the massacre there were political pressures that there would not be any attack in Hawara.

As a result, there was a great public uproar and even a demonstration of bereaved families from Samaria, who lost their loved ones on October 7 while defending the kibbutzim surrounding Gaza, in front of Dan Harel's house. At the demonstration, the bereaved families, together with the head of the Samaria Council and other residents, demanded that Dan Harel take back his accusation and apologize.

After the document was disclosed, Dagan said: "The time has come to remove this indescribable black cloud over the pioneering communities, that even now stand at the forefront of communities in Judea and Samaria. The tarnishing of the communities and the false representation that there is apparently some responsibility for the massacre, by claiming that the pioneering residents of Judea and Samaria are sinning by settling the Land of Israel and want to live safely in the place where the state sent them, and to accuse them – is both false and constitutes severe delegitimization and creation of immense hatred in a time of war. This attempt is unacceptable, has not succeeded and will not succeed.”

He continued, “The pioneering communities stand at the forefront in protecting the entire State of Israel. I demand that those who insulted these communities apologize. I want to strengthen the security forces operating everywhere, to protect our citizens and eradicate terrorism, as well as the residents of Judea and Samaria, who are part of the civilian and military front, to protect the entire State of Israel.”

MK Zvi Sukkot said: "It is unbelievable that during the harsh days of the most difficult war in our history, people are busy making false accusations against the residents of Judea and Samaria, and also about me personally. I am happy that the truth has come out.”