Report: IDF didn't brief Netanyahu, cabinet on Hamas tunnel threat ahead of 2014 Gaza war


(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet were not briefed on the findings of an internal military report analyzing the potential threat posed by Hamas' grid of terror tunnels, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Israeli soldier overlooking a Hamas-built tunnel in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.

The report, penned by then-General Staff Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Bachar - ahead of Operation Protective Edge waged in the Gaza Strip in 2014 - said the true scope of the threat posed by the terror tunnels was unknown before the military campaign. As a result, the IDF underestimated the threat and could not truly prepare for it.

According to Army Radio, while the military was aware of the existence of the terror tunnels, ground troops were not trained in offensive or defensive counter-tunnel measures, and also suffered from a series of operational failures that undermined their readiness in the course of the fighting.

"The enemy's array of command and control posts, as well as its rocket launching apparatus, remained operational until the last day of the operation,” the report said. "The number of casualties, especially among Hamas, was low compared to the firepower used. Deficient operational design meant the way the IDF prepared its units for engagement was flawed. The lack of proper coordination affected the ground troops' competence, readiness and ability to deal with the [tunnel] threat.”

Posted on October 19, 2016 .