The IDF has released a statement regarding intermediate conclusions from its investigation into the rioting at the Gazan border that led to the death of Border Police officer Barel Hadarya Shmueli. The investigation’s conclusions were handed to IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi several days ago, and on Friday they were presented to the family of the fallen soldier.
“The conclusions presented at this stage are part of the interrogation process that began immediately after the incident and will continue until its completion in a thorough, incisive, and in-depth manner, as expected of any interrogation in the IDF,’’ an IDF release published Friday morning read.
“On Friday morning, these conclusions were also presented to the family of the fallen soldier.
“On Saturday night, August 21 2021, violent rioting broke out near the border wall at the northern edge of Gaza. In the course of the riots, a terrorist shot at Border Police officer Barel Hadarya Shmueli, critically wounding him; he passed away several days later.
“At this stage of the investigation, it appears that battle procedures and operational assessments with regard to the riots were carried out thoroughly and comprehensively and included the provision of reinforcements in the form of competent and trained forces, including snipers.
“The investigation also revealed that it would have been proper to spread the forces out and deploy them in a different manner, from the moment the violent mob approached the defensive wall. At the same time, no discrepancy was found in relation to the open-fire regulations, and they were not changed at any stage before or during the events. The Chief of Staff has stated that these instructions made it possible to carry out the operational mission and remove any life-threatening threat. It was also found that in this incident, too, significant firing was carried out in response to the riots.
“Throughout the entire incident, officers were present at the point of contact and gave orders to the soldiers at the scene. The Chief of Staff emphasized that, ‘IDF officers lead their forces from the front, and this was the case in this incident as well.’
“The Chief of Staff has now ordered the investigation to continue until its completion, and has ordered the lessons to be learned and applied across the board.
“The IDF will continue to make its preparations for the eventuality of additional violent riots and terrorist operations in the coming days, while applying the lessons learned from this incident. The IDF sends its condolences to the family of the fallen soldier.”