The “Fashla” Of The Israel Defense Forces At The Kerem Shalom Crossing

UPDATE 10 am Israel time Tuesday:

At 2:12 am this morning, there was an incoming Palestinian terrorist rocket alert for the Lachish and Negev regions of southern Israel. At 1:28 am, two Israelis were wounded  by “rocks” thrown by Palestinians at a gas station near Michmash.


Definition from Hebrew slang:

“Fashla”: a screw up, a foul up, a stupid action, a mess

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz surveying the burned out hulk of the armored personnel carrier destroyed by an IAF missile. How did the IDF allow terrorists to drive this vehicle 2.5 km into Israel?

What actually happened during the terrorist incident at the Kerem Shalom Crossing two nights ago is still dribbling out this morning, but one fact is certain: the IDF performance on the ground in the terrorist attack was a “fashla” of the first order.

To begin with, it now turns out that the Egyptians believe that the massive mortar attack against Israel on Sunday was a diversionary cover for the sophisticated terrorist operation.

Moreover, the Egyptians believe that a force of 35 Islamic terrorists (either dressed as Bedouins or actually Bedouins) attacked their Border Guard position at the Rafah Crossing (just as their guards, despite a warning from Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service of an imminent impending attack on Egyptians and Israelis, were sitting down to break their daily Ramadan fast).

The terrorists proceeded to kill 16 Egyptian border guards, and then commandeer two vehicles: a large truck driven by one terrorist which they filled with explosives, and an armored personnel carrier which carried 8 terrorists (note that the other 26 terrorists seemed to have escaped at this point–hence the Egyptian closing of the Rafah Crossing yesterday and the concomitant surrounding of Rafah by the Egyptian Army with ongoing house to house searches).

The Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt--now closed "indefinitely" by the Egyptians.

Then, as was reported here yesterday, the terrorists proceeded to the western fence of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, ramming the truck into the fence beside an Israeli watchtower, detonating the truck, and driving the personnel carrier through the hole in the fence. 

In yesterday’s blog, your humble servant included the following:

“PM Netanyahu has praised the IDF for stopping the terrorist attack at Kerem Shalom and thwarting a much larger attack had the terrorists gotten into Israeli communities.”

What became painfully clear yesterday is that the IDF did not stop the terrorist attack at the Kerem Shalom Crossing and the terrorists very nearly got into the Kerem Shalom community.

After breaching the fence, the terrorists managed to drive right through the IDF base there unfazed by light arms fire, and then onto the public road that leads to the Crossing. They then drove 2.5 km (over one and a half miles) into Israel right past the Kerem Shalom community.

This is Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s ludicrous description of the above sequence of events:

“The truck moved first – and exploded near the fence in front of our watchtower, which for reasons of preparedness was empty.” Empty? For reasons of preparedness? If the IDF knew the attack was coming, why in the world didn’t they take out the truck before it hit the fence? Or have weapons in place to stop the armored personnel carrier when it came through the fence?

According to Barak, once the terrorists made it to the highway, they were trailed down the highway by “a small force of the IDF including a tank.” Can you imagine this blackly comedic scene? The IDF, unable to stop the terrorists,  was reduced to tagging along behind the armored personnel carrier like a group of Keystone Cops.

Finally, someone in the IDF got the bright idea of calling in the IAF, whereupon an Israeli jet quickly dispatched the vehicle with a missile–killing two terrorists inside the carrier. The other six terrorists were subsequently killed by troops on the ground as they were running away toward the Kerem Shalom community. These six were all wearing “explosive suicide vests.”

The IDF general staff moved quickly yesterday to cover up this entire display of gross IDF ineptitude.

Brigadier General Tal Russo had this to say: “The vehicle met with an (IDF) force at every point it tried to infiltrate.” What a joke.

Russo continued: “On the whole there was a great deal of cooperation between the forces.” Another joke. The only two groups who seemed to have any idea of what they were doing were Shin Bet and the IAF.

IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai:  “As the situation becomes clearer the more I realize what a disaster was avoided here last night and [how] . . .ready were [our] forces . . .”  Yet another joke. The only reason a disaster was averted was because the terrorists inexplicably did not drive their vehicle into the community of Kerem Shalom.

In short, it is something of a miracle that no IDF soldiers and no Israeli citizens were killed. Israel was lucky this time, but what this incident amply demonstrates is the woeful lack of preparedness on the ground of the IDF of Benny Gantz and Ehud Barak.

Two last notes:

1. Just as in the recent case of the Burgas bombing in Bulgaria, we now have Iran,  Hamas, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and even the recent “liberal” Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, all claiming that the terror attack was an Israeli “Zionist” plot engineered by Mossad.  Absolutely pathetic.

2. Your humble servant still has not had a chance to discuss the implications of this event–especially insofar as Israel’s relations with Egypt are concerned as well as the Egyptian rearming of the Sinai. That will be the subject of tomorrow’s blog unless events intervene.

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