The dating of the report has potential implications for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ran the country for four and a half of the six years being reviewed.

A destroyed house in Kibbutz Be’eri after the October 7th attack.
(photo credit: ORI SELA)

The IDF report on the failure to prevent Hamas’s October 7 invasion of southern Israel grapples with decisions made in real time but looks backward to March 2018.

That month was the start of a low-intensity border conflict amid protests initiated by Hamas Gaza Chief Yahya Sinwar, who himself took his leadership role in February 2017.”

The dating of the report is significant because it will have potential implications for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ran the country for four and a half of the six years being reviewed.

It also has implications for war cabinet minister Gadi Eisenkot, who was IDF chief of staff from 2015-2019, for Aviv Kohavi, who was IDF chief 2019-January 2023, as well as, naturally, all current IDF and defense officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar, and IDF intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva.

However, it could give a free pass to war minister Benny Gantz, who was IDF chief from 2011-2015.

Some had suggested that a review of the failed policies leading to the October 7 failure needed to go back to Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9, to Hamas’s taking control in Gaza in 2007, or even back to the Second Intifada when a decision was made not to carry out a major anti-terror operation as was carried out in 2002 in the West Bank during Operation Defensive Shield.

A damaged and blood-stained kindergarten is seen following a deadly infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Kibbutz Beeri in southern Israel October 22, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Timeline could help Gantz politically

Gantz currently has aroundĀ double Netanyahu’s electoral supportĀ for the next Knesset if an election were held now.

The timeframe of the report could help Gantz against Netanyahu.

The report is expected to come out in early June.

There was no mention of whether an external review, which was originally planned, will still happen or if so when.

Absent this external review, the IDF was unclear about how IDF officials in the Operations Command would be able to objectively judge Halevi, who out ranks everyone in that command, as well as a few other officials, such as Haliva, who is at the same level as the IDF Operations Command Chief Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk.

Halevi’s explanation of the probe was that it is being carried out “to restore confidence to evacuated persons” from the South and the North.

He said that the IDF and the country must learn and improve itself both on defense and on the attack.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi seen on October 11, 2023 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Halevi: without the probe, hard to say we learned our lesson

Further, Halevi said that the IDF failed the country’s civilians, and that “it is hard to say we learned our lesson to the citizens of Israel without this probe.”

The probe will look into the IDF’s concept of how to handle the border with Gaza, how to understand what Hamas is, how to prepare operationally for defending the country, and how to understand what Hamas was thinking.

Moreover, the probe will look into the intelligence and the decision-making process surrounding October 7. 

Also, the probe will look into the processes of defense between October 7 and October 10.

It appeared that the report would also look into the war with Hamas after October 10, including specific battles, the method of rallying the reserves, the handling of logistics issues, and the process of evacuating Israeli civilians and the bodies of killed civilians from the borders, but that these would be secondary to October 7 and decisions leading up to October 7.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post