IDF Chief of the General Staff Concludes Investigations of Itamar Terrorist Attack and Joseph’s Tomb Shooting Incident

Today, May 29th, two inquiries were held by the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz. The first inquiry delved into the terrorist attack in Itamar which claimed the lives of Rabbi Ehud Fogel, his wife Ruth and their three children, Yoav, Elad and Hadas, and the second into the incident at Joseph’s Tomb in which Ben-Yosef Livnat was killed.

Lt. Gen. Gantz received the findings of the Central Command’s investigation into the terror attack in Itamar referring to it as “atrocious and inhumane,” and concluded that the Command’s situational assessment recognized the existing threats despite the lack of concrete intelligence information. Nonetheless, they failed to translate the assessment into a concrete operational plan and to fully implement the defensible means available. The Chief of Staff ordered the immediate implementation of the conclusions of the incident including accelerating the development of security mechanisms in the region under the authority of the Central Command. Despite the grave results of the incident, the Chief of Staff expressed his appreciation of the security forces that operated to apprehend the assailants.

Lt. Gen. Gantz also received the findings of the Central Command’s investigation into the incident in Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus on April 24th, 2011, where Ben-Yosef Livnat was killed and five additional worshipers injured while entering the tomb. The Chief of Staff concluded that the Palestinian officers whom opened fire did so in an unwarranted manner as there was no imminent and impending danger to their lives. Although the inquiry finds that the firing at the worshipers was not coordinated in advance, it was concluded that the officers fired deliberately and with intention to harm the worshipers who arrived at Joseph’s Tomb. The Chief of Staff noted that the IDF must operate to counter uncoordinated entries adding that he looks severely upon Israelis who put their lives in jeopardy by entering Joseph’s Tomb and territories in area A.

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