WATCH – WHAT WENT WRONG: IDF Gaza Operation Gone Bad Prompts Hamas Retaliation

Palestinians inspect the remains of the vehicle driven by an elite IDF unit on an undercover mission in Gaza. The IDF blew it up after the force was detected and a soldier was killed in an ensuing shootout

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IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis released limited information pertaining to the Sunday night operation in Khan Yunis that claimed the life of a Lt.-Colonel in a special forces unit and left another office moderately wounded. A Hamas commander and six other gunmen were killed.

The botched mission set off an intense round of fighting on Monday, with Gaza terrorists firing over 300 rockets at Israel, and the IAF retaliating and striking over 70 terror targets in Gaza.

Manelis explained the operation was not the elimination or abduction of anyone in Gaza. “The force carried out a prolonged operation in the Palestinian territory but was caught in an ambush and was injured at the moment of exposure,” he said. “From the moment the force was detected, they conducted a heroic battle to eliminate the threat and return to Israel. This is a heroic act that will still be discussed. What was revealed tonight was the tip of the systematic and sweeping operations. Their goal is to enable Israel’s superiority and capabilities it has today.

“The actions of Lt.-Colonel ‘M’ will not be published in the media, but he deserves the salute all of us for actions he carried out,” said Manelis, adding that “the IDF is in contact with the family of Lt.-Col. M. and the family of the additional officer who was injured and evacuated after the operation to Soroka Hospital”.

Manelis summed up the events of last night and said that “we have something to learn from the event, and we will draw lessons from it, and we are preparing for a variety of scenarios, and I do not suggest anyone examine the readiness of the IDF, which is very high.”

The AP reports undercover troops, apparently on a reconnaissance mission, were discovered several kilometers inside Gaza on Sunday, setting off the battle that left seven terrorists, including a Hamas commander, and an Israeli military officer dead.

The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, said that in Sunday’s incursion, Israeli undercover forces drove about 3 kilometers (2 miles) into southeastern Gaza and shot and killed Nour el-Deen Baraka, a mid-level commander in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. Qassam members discovered the car and chased it, prompting Israeli airstrikes that killed several people, the group said.

Palestinians inspecting the vehicle – after the IDF blew it up:

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkott said: “A special force of the IDF operated in a mission of high importance for the security of Israel. The force and the IAF forces fought courageously and bravely, and I salute the forces. We owe Lt.-Colonel ‘M’ more than we may reveal. I embrace the family and wishes for and total recovery to the wounded IDF officer”.

‘M’ HY”D was married and is survived by his wife and their two children.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem / AP)