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December 31, 2014 10:52 am

Leaked Recordings From Gaza Rescue Mission a ‘Serious Breach,’ IDF Says

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The IDF attempted to rescue Lt. Hadar Goldin during Operation Protective Edge but failed and the soldier's remains and pieces of his uniform were found. Photo: Facebook. – The Israel Defense Forces has launched an investigation to determine who was behind the leaking of audio recordings from the ill-fated attempt to rescue Lt. Hadar Goldin during Operation Protective Edge.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said Tuesday that the “after-action review of the incident has yet to be completed, rendering any analysis conducted on the basis of such recordings incomplete, irresponsible, and inaccurate in a way that departs from the debriefing material currently being processed. We regard this matter [the leak] as a serious breach.”

The IDF said it was unfortunate that such recordings were aired because they could hurt the families of those who died in the incident. The recordings include frantic conversations between Israeli troops as they search for Goldin, who was kidnapped when his unit was ambushed in the Rafah area. Lt. Eitan Fund, who was among the first to arrive at the scene, risked his life by entering the terror tunnel that was used by the perpetrators. By risking his life in the search, Fund was able to identify Goldin’s remains and pieces of his uniform. This allowed forensic experts to determine that Goldin had died during the ambush or shortly afterward. Two other soldiers were also killed in the attack. Fund may be awarded a distinction for his actions.

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In the recordings, the commander of the Givati Brigade Reconnaissance Battalion, Lt. Col. Eli Gino, is heard ordering more troops to the area of the attack, hoping that would help Fund.

“The deputy [Fund] will rendezvous with you and will re-enter the tunnel to take the uniforms out,” Gino tells his subordinates. He then orders the troops to stop firing. “I repeat, hold your fire! You are acting like a bunch of morons! You are going to kill each other!” he shouts.

The recordings further shed light on the bombardments that followed the kidnapping, including communications over the targeting of a mosque where the terror tunnel originated.

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