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Israel Releases First Probe Into Its Security Failures During Hamas Attack

The military presented the report to Be’eri’s residents. (File)

Jerusalem:

The Israeli military published on Thursday the findings of a first probe into its own security failings during the devastating Oct. 7 Hamas attack, acknowledging it hadn’t protected the citizens of one of the worst hit communities, Kibbutz Be’eri.

More than 100 people were killed in the attack on Be’eri, a community of about 1,000 people, and 32 taken hostage to Gaza, 11 of whom are still there.

The probe examined the day’s chain of events, fighting and security forces’ conduct, the military said. Some of the details have already been revealed by Reuters and other media in the weeks after the attack.

While acknowledging its own failure in protecting the kibbutz civilians, the military hailed the bravery of Be’eri residents, including its rapid response team, who despite being vastly outnumbered, tried to repel the militants who invaded.

Israel’s military was unprepared for the scenario of a massive infiltration of militants into Israel, had inadequate forces in the area, did not have a clear picture of the events until noon, a few hours after the attack began, did not properly alert Be’eri’s residents and its fighting was uncoordinated, the investigation found.

The probe, however, did not find fault in tank fire toward a house where militants were holding some 15 people hostage, an incident that has drawn criticism in Israel for having put civilians in harms way.

“After shooting was heard from the house and the terrorists announced their intent to kill themselves and the hostages, the forces decided to storm it in order to save the hostages,” the military’s summary said.

“The team found that the civilians inside the house were not hurt by the tank shells,” the summary said, however, further investigation is needed to determine how hostages inside died, with signs pointing to them having been killed by the gunmen.

The military presented the report to Be’eri’s residents, many of whom are among the tens of thousands of Israelis still displaced since Oct. 7.

“I didn’t need all these details,” said Miri Gad Mesika, a kibbutz member. “What matters to me is why what happened happened, how we can prevent it from happening again, how we can bring back our hostages and how we can feel secure again.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)