Barel Hadarya Shmueli
Barel Hadarya ShmueliIsrael Police

Military correspondent Yoav Zeitun published an investigative article in Yediot Ahronot which recounts minute by minute details of the killing of IDF soldier Barel Shmueli on the Gaza border by Hamas terrorists at point-blank range.

Zeitun revealed that the IDF relied on Hamas' "restraint forces,' and that after a Hamas terrorist fired at Barel through a firing hole in the wall and escaped unharmed, IDF and Border Police soldiers went outside the wall and fought with the Arab rioters. Following the shooting of Shmueli, a young 12-year-old Arab boy was killed, and the IDF is currently considering opening an military police investigation against the soldiers involved, Shmueli's colleagues.

On the day of the incident, August 21 last year, at 4:45 PM, about 400 terrorists and rioters stormed the fence. Hamas' 'restraint forces', on which the IDF relied,' disappeared 'and allowed the assault on the border fence, which also included an armed Hamas officer, who shot Shmueli in the head at point blank range in front of the security cameras. The shooting occurred at 6:18 PM.

Later, more than an hour after the incident, at 7:30 PM, while Shmueli was being treated at Soroka Hospital, the soldiers at the fence received a special permission to fire on "key instigators" from the Gaza side. Some of Shmueli's friends cross the fence through a side gate, a narrow gate opened for them, and they fired at the lower bodies of the rioters who were still at the scene.

According to Zeitun's report, the soldiers continued firing until the rioters began to disperse at 8 PM. Further permission was given to fire at any 'central instigator' who was within 100 to 200 meters of the border fence.

At the same time, Brigadier General Col. Yoav Brunner instructed the soldiers to come down and take cover. At the end of the incident, one terrorist and a 12-year-old rioter were killed on the Arab side, and 36 were wounded. The General Staff mechanism is expected to decide soon whether to open an investigation against the soldiers.

The Torat Lechima organization said in response to the report: "The deep left-wing thinking in senior command is fatally harming the IDF and its soldiers: Hamas "restrains" and protects the IDF? Are we crazy? The murder of Barel Shmueli by the same Hamas is not just a "professional error' but a resounding failure, and it is not clear why no senior commander has been punished?"