In the video: Amir Bohbot with the investigation of the attack on the Egyptian border (Amir Bohbot)
Fighters of the Cheetah Battalion criticized the senior command of the Faran Brigade and the Red Division on Wednesday in light of the investigation of the attack on the Egyptian border, which is supposed to be presented to IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy tomorrow. One of the women complained about the security and security conditions in the area. "They wore us out, they loaded us with inhumane activity," the fighter claimed.
The female soldier hurled remarks at an officer in the brigade. "Who can withstand a 12-hour shift in this weather? There are officers like in the command post who barely leave the Wrangler (an unarmored military jeep) for five days, and all for what? That there will be no drug smuggling? It's police work," she claimed, noting that they shortened their shifts from 12 hours to 8 hours, following claims about the long guard carried out by fighters Lia Ben Nun and Uri Yitzhak Illouz. "If everything was okay before the attack, why did they shorten our shifts? Because they realized that something here was screwed up. No fighter can withstand such a shift. If everything was okay, why did they take down positions (the temporary positions near the border, which consisted of a narrow post and a shadow) after the attack?"
The battalion fighters were asked why they did not fire at the Egyptian terrorist with a battalion uniform machine gun, and instead chose to charge at him with rifles. "We ask too," he admitted. "Ask the MAGs when was the last time they shot the MAG, when they trained on the MAG. They want to drop everything on our Sergeant. She's professional and motivated, but people need to rest, sleep." These fighters also blamed the senior officers. "This story starts at the top. Everyone knew about the difficult guards, everyone knew we were being worn out, everyone knew that fighters fall asleep on guard. Who can stay awake like that? The soldiers here are finished, mentally and physically."
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The terrorist's route (Photo: Amir Bohbot)
The investigation carried out by the Southern Command, commanded by Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, indicates that the Egyptian policeman abandoned a shift at the post and marched towards the border for about four hours, on a steep spur, some of which he climbed. All this, without the forces operating surveillance devices and radars noticing it. The terrorist then entered Israeli territory through a "security crossing" at the border fence, which was secured with a zip tie. It was claimed that senior officials in the Southern Command, including intelligence officials in the IDF and the defense establishment, knew about the breached crossings. "The decision to open the border crossings inside the fence was not born in the battalion or the Faran Brigade," said a Southern Command source, adding, "There is no doubt that the border crossings are not properly secured. This needs to be rethought."
The terrorist walked three kilometers deep into the area without observations noticing him in a general direction in HED 1, and about 300 meters from Mount Horsha, around which dozens of civilian walkers walked. According to the investigation, the terrorist reached the fence line, dragged the barbed wire fence aside - but was delayed for significant minutes, during which time he could be seen. At that point, the terrorist noticed two manned positions hundreds of meters away. Finally, he decided to lean towards the left post, clinging to the wall below the post. At one point, he started crawling - and then opened fire at the fighter Ben Nun and the fighter Iluz. The latter was lying at the right end of the canopy, and the female fighter three meters away from him in the middle of the canopy.
The sources involved in the investigation claim that the Egyptian policeman acted in a manner uncharacteristic of a border policeman. It is believed that he trained and planned the attack in detail, including building firing positions on the ridges with stones. At the same time, the sources stressed that he managed to kill the third fighter, Ohad Dahan, the brigade commander's liaison, by firing a volley from the waist and width, and not between sights. This issue has been referred for examination by intelligence agencies who are examining the identity and past of the Egyptian policeman. In the Faran Brigade, there is a dispute as to whether the brigade commander who was killed by the terrorist's fire in the assault was wearing a helmet or without, since he was hit in the head. We are waiting for a decision from the forensic laboratory on the matter. The brigade tracker insists he saw the fighter with a helmet.
The terrorist (Photo: screenshot, Facebook)
At first, the Faran Brigade thought it was a revenge attack for thwarting drug smuggling in the early morning hours on the Egyptian border, but the division commander, Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, determined that it was a terrorist attack after a commando knife was found near its shadow. The Southern Command emphasized that while elements in the Faran Brigade wanted to return to routine, while there was a terrorist deep in Israeli territory, after searches that lasted at least two hours, the division commander, Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, insisted on continuing to search the area.
Finally, despite the abundance of sensors in space, radar, the scope of the forces and the drone's capabilities, the person who identified the terrorist at a range of three kilometers using binoculars was a squad commander from the Cheetah Battalion. At first he was identified without a weapon, a light colored shirt and black pants, and it appeared that he was a civilian, but when the drone was activated at him, he was identified with a rifle.
The sources assessed that there was an intention to dismiss commanders of the Cheetah Battalion due to the errors and malfunctions, the operational routine, the level of discipline, including the use of the forces, and at least personal comments including reprimands in the Faran Brigade. In addition, during the investigation, it was claimed that the threat of attribution of the forces on the Egyptian border emphasized the fact that it is a peaceful border that severely limits the forces in the open-fire regulations and the scope of the forces. Therefore, they said in response to criticism that there were no warnings or threats from an Egyptian policeman to carry out an attack in the area in question. The attribution threat dictated to the Red Formation enabled risk-taking, which will now be examined by IDF Chief of Staff Halevi and Maj. Gen. Nimrod Aloni, who was appointed to examine the concept. Sources in the Southern Command called on senior officials to update the intelligence assessment for the Sinai sector in view of the attack and the ongoing fighting between the Egyptian army and global jihad elements.
Ohad Dahan, Lia Ben Nun and Uri Yitzhak Illouz: The fighters killed in the attack on the Egyptian border (Photo: official website, none)
Another issue emphasized by the Southern Command is that despite the fact that most of the activity of the battalions involved is aimed at thwarting drug smuggling along the Egyptian border, over the past year they encountered live fire from smugglers from the Egyptian side, returned lethal fire at the shooters on the Egyptian side at a range of 30 meters, and identified hits – but the issue was not made public due to sensitivity vis-à-vis the Egyptian security establishment.
Sources in the Southern Command also emphasized that despite the criticism of the Faran Brigade, in 2022 drug smuggling worth NIS 220 million was thwarted and apprehended, and from the beginning of 2023, in five months and a week, drugs worth about half a billion shekels were thwarted. Apparently, it was the atmosphere created around the thwarting of smuggling that undermined the vigilance in preparation for terrorist attacks.
- Military & Security