Report: IDF probe finds controversial commander largely acted properly in fight for Kibbutz Be’eri

Commander of the 99th Division, Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram in southern Israel on October 11, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Commander of the 99th Division, Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram in southern Israel on October 11, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

An initial IDF investigation into the battle on October 7 in the border community of Kibbutz Be’eri finds that a controversial military commander largely acted properly, as he sought to wrest control from the invading Hamas terrorists, Channel 12 reports.

According to Channel 12, the findings, which were presented to IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi today, found that the military failed in its mission to stop the invasion of terrorists into the kibbutz, due to the overwhelming number of infiltrators and battle sites.

However, the findings also say that when Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram, the commander of the IDF’s 99th Division, arrived at the scene, his command ensured that the IDF retook control of the kibbutz.

Channel 12 notes that the probe found he nevertheless made several mistakes in his actions, but does not detail them.

The report also does not specify the findings on the most controversial incident of the day, when Hiram ordered a tank to fire on a home owned by Pessi Cohen, where terrorists were holding 14 hostages.

The tank fired two shells toward the house. Of the 14 who had been held hostage, 13 were killed in the intense firefight between Israeli troops and the Hamas terrorists. It remains unclear how many of the 13 were harmed by the tank fire.

The official results of the probe will be released Thursday.

The probe is expected to provide a large number of details of the incident at Cohen’s house.

Before the war, Hiram was tapped to be the next commander of the Gaza Division, a move that currently appears to be on hold, subject to the results of the Be’eri investigation.

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