IDF Releases Preliminary Report on Shooting of Border Officer During Gaza Riots
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday released the initial results of an investigation into the death of Border Police officer Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who on Monday succumbed to wounds sustained during violent clashes at the Gaza border on August 21.
“The review revealed that the combat procedure and operational preparations for the violent riots were conducted in a thorough and comprehensive manner and included reinforcement of qualified and trained troops, among them marksman and snipers,” the IDF statement said.
Shmueli was shot in the head when clashes erupted between Palestinian rioters and Israeli security forces during protests along the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.
“The review suggests that it was correct to deploy and operate the troops differently from the moment the violent mob arrived adjacent to the security fence,” the statement continued. “Likewise, there was no discrepancy in relation to the standard operating procedures and they were not changed at any time throughout the operational incident.”
The findings were presented to IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi earlier in the week and on Friday were presented to Shmueli’s family, who said in a statement that they rejected the conclusions of the investigation, saying that they were “disappointed, hurt and frustrated by the preliminary investigation.”
Haaretz reported that, according to the investigation, soldiers have been warned since 2019 that the post where Shmueli was shot last month has a limited field of vision, but the Israeli military has done nothing to address the situation.
According to the Israel Border Police, Shmueli, 21, was a sniper and belonged to the special forces unit of the Mista’arvim, whose members are specifically trained to blend in with the Arab population.
He is survived by his mother, father, brother and two sisters.
His funeral took place Monday night at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv.