IDF probe reveals IDF failed to prepare for Operation Protective Edge

The investigation the IDF conducted after Operation Protective Edge revealed a series of failures and mistakes that jeopardized the readiness of the forces mainly regarding the tunnel threat. "The offensive tunnels were an unknown," the report reads. The IDF Spokesperson stated that the majority of the conclusions have been implemented.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

According to an IDF investigation into Operation Protective Edge, “the severity of the [tunnel] threat wasn't realized. The report points out a series of mistakes and failures in the IDF’s preparations for the operation, mainly regarding how the military prepared against the tunnel threat

Over 30 officers and experts took part of the committee that ran the investigation, which was led by Major General Yossi Bachar. During this thorough investigation, nearly every officer who took part of the operation was required to answer a questionnaire.

Terror Tunnel Entrance Shaft Photo Credit: IDF Spokesman/Channel 2 News

"The offensive terror tunnels were an unknown for the majority of the maneuvering forces’ commanders," concluded the report. “The threat was acknowledged but its magnitude wasn't fully understood." The report concludes that the operational brigades weren't prepared to handle the tunnels whilst performing offensive maneuvers, certainly not in the extent Operation Protective Edge had required.

The report, which is partially classified, also points out that "the enemy's commanding and rocket array were fully operational until the last day of the operation.” In addition, the report notes that “the number of Hamas casualties was relatively low compared to the firepower that was used,” meaning that the investigation committee found a direct link between IDF's lack of preparation and the length of the operation, which lasted over 50 days.

The report also shows that the lack of operational planning effected the way IDF prepared its units for combat in the Gaza Strip. Due to the lack of coordination, the readiness and fighting capabilities of the ground forces were compromised. Another conclusion of the investigation was that IDF's preparation to face the threat on a large scale was flawed and led to embarrassment in action.

The IDF Spokesperson commented on the report: "The entirety of the committee's conclusions has been taken into account in the IDF's work plans particularly in the Southern Command and the General Officer Commanding Army Headquarters. So far, the majority of the conclusions have been implemented. Facing the subterranean threats is now the top priority and numerous efforts are being made in order to prepare the forces."

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