The IDF reportedly admitted that it mistook gunfire originating from a Hamas position as threatening, with the shooting subsequently revealed to not be an attack on Israeli soldiers.
By: World Israel News Staff
On Tuesday evening, the Israeli army acknowledged that a retaliatory strike in which two Gazans were killed resulted from the IDF misinterpreting a Hamas drill as an attack on Israeli soldiers, reported Times of Israel.
While acknowledging its error, the IDF made it clear that subsequent fire on IDF troops in response to the incident would not be tolerated.
After the incident, the army issued a statement explaining, “The IDF is prepared to target any aggression against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for everything happening in and emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
Head of the IDF’s Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, was cited as the Times source for the admission that the army carried out the strike in error. According to Halevi, the targeted snipers were part of Hamas’ naval commando unit and were being observed by leaders of the Hamas terror group.
According to an AP report, Hamas denied Israel’s initial account, saying shots were fired as part of a graduation ceremony for a group of fighters inside a training camp. The terror group said the fighters’ families and Hamas leadership attended the event, without providing names.
As the event unfolded, the army apparently mistook the Hamas shooting as an attempt to attack soldiers patrolling the security barrier as part of the Givati infantry brigade’s Rotem battalion.
According to the Times, the army used Egypt to relay a message to Hamas communicating the error. The IDF reportedly also made it clear that Israel would not suffer lightly any retaliatory actions from Hamas.
With files from AP.