Border Police Staff Sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli laid to rest

Opposition lawmaker demands state inquiry into death of soldier in Gaza riot

Nir Barkat claims Israel's timid response to soldier's killing and widely circulated video footage of incident harmed IDF's credibility and trust in the military; move unlikely to gain ground in Knesset as coalition expected to oppose

Alexandra Lukash |
Published: 08.31.21, 12:20
Likud MK Nir Barkat said on Tuesday he would pursue a state inquiry into the events at the Gaza Strip border that led to the death of a border policeman, alleging negligence of military and political higher-ups.
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  • "I will demand a state inquiry into the issue. The easiest thing to do is to investigate the operational failings, but it stemmed from orders coming from above to contain [the violence]," Barkat told the Ynet studio in an interview, referring to the death of Border Police Staff Sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli.
    Hamas militant fires pistol into gap in border barrier with Israel, hitting Border Police Staff Sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli in the head from point-blank range during a riot earlier in August
    Shmueli was wounded on August 21 when a Hamas militant in plainclothes shot him in the head with a pistol from point-blank range during a riot around the border using a gap in the wall.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    הלוויתו של בראל חדריה שמואלי
    הלוויתו של בראל חדריה שמואלי
    Border Police Staff Sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli laid to rest
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    Shmueli was rushed to Soroka Medical Center in critical condition where had undergone several emergency surgeries but succumbed to his wounds nine days later.
    He was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv Monday night as thousands of mourners turned up to pay their respects to the fallen soldier. He was 21.
    "The fighters did not understand what it is that this government told them to contain, it was unclear when should they move away from the border fence. When the Palestinians came just feet from them? When they do move, should they go all the way to Ashkelon? This is a tactical misunderstanding, there was an unequivocal operational failure. But where did it come from?" Barkat further added.
    Some have criticized the government for its perceived policy to turn a blind eye to acts of aggression from the Palestinian enclave to avoid escalating tensions.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    ניר ברקת נואם באירוע להצגת חזונו
    ניר ברקת נואם באירוע להצגת חזונו
    Likud MK Nir Barkat
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    This perception is lent further credence by voices from within and around the Islamist Ra'am party which have previously threatened to topple the government if Israel launches a large-scale military campaign in Gaza.
    Barkat further claimed that Israel's timid response to the attack on Shmueli and video footage of the incident which heavily circulated online harmed the IDF's credibility and the public's trust in the military.
    Barkat's push to establish a state inquiry into the soldier's death is chiefly meant to embarrass the government but is unlikely to gain any ground since it requires a majority in the Knesset plenum and the coalition, and presumably, the predominately Arab Joint List are expected to oppose it.
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