IDF chief decides military will start probe of operational failures prior to Oct. 7

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi issues a video statement, January 23, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi issues a video statement, January 23, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi has decided that the military will begin to investigate its operational failures in the lead-up to Hamas’s October 7 onslaught.

Commanders involved, including the head of the Operations Directorate, Southern Command, Gaza Division, and Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 8200, will begin a probe of their respective units by the end of the month.

The probes are expected to last several months, as they will be carried out amid the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip. Should there be major developments in the war, the probes will likely take even more time.

The investigations are internal and are not related to planned external probes of the army’s conduct in the lead-up to October 7, which are currently on hold.

The army’s probes are aimed at drawing operational conclusions for the military, and will not look into the policies of the political leadership.

In a separate move, Halevi has also ordered that appointments for senior commanders resume after they had been on pause since October 7.

In the coming weeks, the chief of staff will appoint new brigadier generals and colonels for roles such as division commanders, brigade commanders, and senior department heads. At a further date, discussions will be held for the appointments of lieutenant colonels and majors.

The IDF won’t be appointing new commanders to roles considered “sensitive” and related to the probes.

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