IDF previously admitted to facing fierce resistance in the Gaza Strip (French)

JERUSALEM – The Israeli army expelled a combat battalion commander and his deputy after they retreated in front of an ambush by fighters of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), during ground battles in the northern Gaza Strip before the temporary truce and ceasefire came into effect, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

The newspaper indicated in its issue issued on Monday that the army command decided to dismiss two officers from a combat unit participating in the ground incursion into northern Gaza, as their dismissal came at the height of ground operations, apparently in the days before the temporary truce came into effect.

The army command justified its decision to dismiss the two officers from supervising the combat unit during the war on Gaza and ground military operations, because the military force and the battalion they supervise withdrew from their position during a ground exercise.

The newspaper reported that the soldiers in the combat unit decided to withdraw because the combat unit did not receive military support and air cover when its members came under heavy fire by dozens of fighters from the Qassam Brigades who ambushed the Israeli soldiers.

From the IDF's point of view, the withdrawal and retreat and the consequent event described by the army as "extraordinary" caused a "severe crisis" between the company commanders, their fighters and the battalion commander, which prompted about half of those soldiers not to return to military service and combat in Gaza, after the officer's decision to leave the battalion at the request of the army commanders.

The newspaper reported that the soldiers of the company and the combat unit said that they did not receive support and air cover from the Israeli Air Force, when they were ambushed by the fighters of the Qassam Brigades, and therefore the military company withdrew, and retreated to the back in front of dozens of militants who ambushed the incursive Israeli army forces.

The newspaper's military affairs correspondent, Yoav Zeitoun, quoted Israeli army officers as saying that "the military force of the combat unit was sent to a ground mission in the Strip, and its situation was bad and without readiness, after the unit's soldiers were on long and arduous military missions and activities in the Gaza envelope, and were transferred to the ground battle, without having time to rest, as the event caused a difficult atmosphere inside the battalion."

In an effort to contain the crisis and prevent it from spreading for fear of affecting other units of the army, the IDF decided to take all the soldiers of the battalion and combat unit to rest in the area of the city of Ashkelon (Ashkelon), and it was decided to change the two officers in charge of the company during the ground maneuver and the war on Gaza.

The newspaper pointed out that the battalion and the combat unit mentioned has been exposed since the beginning of the war on Gaza to other serious events during the month of October, including the death of an officer and the injury of other officers in the battles of the ground incursion, in addition to the injury of the officer and the battalion brigade, which revolves around the controversy after the withdrawal and retreat to the back in front of the ambush of the Qassam elements.

In order to fill the shortage of soldiers from the combat unit that was removed from northern Gaza, the newspaper reported that the Israeli army mobilized groups of soldiers from other military units to fill the gap with combat forces, pointing out that the incident "caused a crisis of confidence within the combat unit and the battalion, but it was dealt with correctly and lessons were learned at all levels, according to a statement by the Israeli army spokesman.

The army spokesman added that "the fighters of the unit and the battalion are fighting in Gaza with courage and determination against Hamas." Because the battalion suffered losses and injuries last October during the ground battles, "after investigating the events and the behavior of the company commander, it was decided to dismiss him and appoint a new commander from the battalion in his place," according to his statement.

Earlier, the Israeli occupation army admitted to fighting battles it described as fierce in the Gaza Strip in the face of the Palestinian resistance, announcing in mid-November that 3 of its members were killed and others seriously wounded during battles in the northern Gaza Strip.

The army said in a statement at the time that the dead were Captain Assaf Master (22 years old), a platoon commander in the 601st Battalion, Kafir Yitzhak Franco (22 years old), who is also a platoon commander in the 52nd Battalion, and Captain Shlomo Ben-Nun (22 years old), a deputy company commander in the 202nd Battalion.

According to official Israeli figures, since October 7, the Palestinian resistance has killed more than 1200,400 Israelis, including about <> officers and soldiers.

Source : Al Jazeera + Israeli Press