IDF admits ‘professional errors’ led to death of soldier along Gaza border

Shmueli’s family said that he was “killed for no reason, and for the IDF this is just a mistake.”

By World Israel News staff

A number of professional errors along the border fence with Gaza led to the death of St.-Sgt. Barel Haderia Shmueli in September, the IDF said in an investigation released on Monday, Israeli media reported.

Shmueli was a Border Police Officer who was shot in the head by a Hamas operative during riots. Despite a quick evacuation to the hospital, he succumbed to his wounds nine days later.

The main error that caused his death was the decision to keep troops along the fence wall despite the close proximity of rioters in the area, in addition to not moving soldiers to rear positions, the report stated.

“The decision to move and set up along the border according to plan, based on past experience and intelligence information, when the rioters were right next to it and its disadvantages outweighed its advantages, was a professional error in retrospect. The use of live, deadly weapons by the rioters next to the ‘Wall of Courage’ was not expected,” the report read.

This comes after initial investigations stating that procedures conducted at the time were conducted in a “thorough and comprehensive manner.”

Protocols for responding to riots have now been changed, and troops will now be stationed further away from rioting zones where they are safer but can still remain in control of the situation, the IDF said.

Shmueli’s family responded to the report saying: “Our Barel, a Border Police fighter, was killed for no reason, and for the IDF this is just a mistake.”