The succession of failures that led to the death of an IDF officer has resulted in a number of dismissals on Thursday for personnel involved in the blue-on-blue incident. The conclusions of an investigation into the tragedy were accepted by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who approved the administrative measures suggested by the commander of the Southern Command.
Captain Tal Nachman was killed by friendly fire on February 4 near the Gaza security barrier.
The soldier who fired his weapon was dismissed from his combat role; the unit's sergeant, the platoon commander, and the company commander were also dismissed from their current positions. The incident was noted in the personnel records of the commanders of the battalions that were involved in the incident.
The IDF investigation determined that the primary cause of the gunfire towards Captain Nachman by the other soldier was a mistake in identification. The investigation also discovered that the operational briefing was not carried out properly and that there were failures in the planning and execution of the mission.
"We are looking at a tragic operational incident in which we lost a wonderful man," said IDF Chief of Staff Gantz at the conclusion of the investigation. He also noted the importance of learning from this terrible event.
The military said that the findings and the conclusions of the investigation were delivered to the Nachman family by the commanders, and that the operational lessons of the investigation are currently being implemented across the IDF.
The shooting by the Givati soldier took the life of Captain Tal Nachman, 21, from Ness Ziona. Nachman, an officer, was sleeping on the topside of the APC and was wearing protective gear. He was hit in his back and succumbed to his wounds on the way to the hospital.
During the investigation, Givati's reconnaissance battalion commander , Lieutenant-Colonel Ali Gino, took responsibility for the incident: "I failed when I didn't return my soldiers home safely. The force was not adequately prepared. We sent a freshman commander to a mission he had never undertaken before without the proper control."
The primary findings of the investigation, as revealed by Ynet:
- The joint force was deployed without critical practice of the reconnaissance mission, without a joint briefing and without being briefed on the rules of engagement.
- Against division orders, the force was commanded by a reconnaissance commander and not a Givati commander.
- The Givati force was commanded by a sergeant unfamiliar with these missions instead of the unit's commander. Another officer who was required to observe him "forgot" to do so.
- Waiting on approval delayed the evacuation to the hospital by 6-7 critical minutes.
- One of the two medics did not have medical equipment on him.
Itay Blumenthal contributed to this report.