IDF spokesman says investigating army’s failures is critical for future fighting

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

IDF troops seen operating inside the Gaza Strip in this handout photo released for publication on January 4, 2024. (IDF)
IDF troops seen operating inside the Gaza Strip in this handout photo released for publication on January 4, 2024. (IDF)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says investigating the military’s failures is essential to its fighting in the Gaza Strip, as well as preparing itself for other fronts.

The comments come against the backdrop of a security cabinet meeting last night that ended in a loud and angry dustup between ministers and the IDF’s Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi as right-wing lawmakers cried foul over his plans for the army to probe its mistakes surrounding the October 7 Hamas invasion.

“Our goal is to always improve, to draw conclusions from the fighting, to deepen the achievement and minimize casualties to our forces,” Hagari says in an evening press conference.

“The operational investigation is one of the basic principles of the IDF. Only a thorough investigation of the truth will allow us to learn from the failures and prepare for the security challenges in the future — 2024 will be a year of fighting, and there are lessons to be learned that will help us fight better, in all the arenas,” he says.

He says the IDF is busy fighting and has not yet begun its investigation into the failures that led to Hamas’s October 7 onslaught.

“The General Staff is formulating these days the process of planning the investigations, and picking those leading the operational investigation,” Hagari says.

He says some investigations are intended to be internal, and others will include former defense officials looking into the chain of command from an outside perspective.

The probes will be presented to the public once completed, he says.

“IDF investigations are intended to improve the army and they do not replace any external investigation,” Hagari adds.

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