The Chief of the IDF General Staff, Lieutenant General Shaul Moffaz, concluded yesterday (March 21 2002) operational inquiries, presented to him regarding the incidents in which IDF soldiers were attacked at the checkpoints of Ein Arik (February 19 2002) and Wadi Haramia (the British Police roadblocks – March 3 2002), in which 13 soldiers were killed as well as 3 civilians and 7 civilians and soldiers were wounded. The Chief of the General Staff concluded that both incidents were very serious and had severe outcomes. Analyzing these incidents and the lessons learned from them will serve for improving the quality of the training of fighters and preparing units for their complex tasks. In summarizing the inquiries, the Chief of the General Staff specifically stressed the following issues:
Maintaining the ability to perform the tasks according to the operational and professional considerations, while constantly examining the tactical aspects (such as location, safety etc.); Breaking the activity routine in order to narrow down the risk of that our soldiers are surprised;
striving to reach contact, as a central value which is the ‘heart & soul’ of any fighting army; the acknowledgement of the fact that me must be strong at any point, at location and time, while the enemy searches after our weaknesses in order to take advantage of them. In the incident at the British Police checkpoints, in Wadi Haramia, it has been determined the main problem was with the location of the checkpoint and with the fact that it was heard to recognize and locate the source of the shooting and thus many were hit. It has also been determined that the shooting was performed with a sniper’s rifle (and not with a “Carabin” type rifle, as assumed in the beginning). In addition, the Chief of the General Staff stated that there was certain trouble with the location of the checkpoints, and with the fact that they where found in an area of topographical inferiority. The Chief of the General Staff instructed to Continue with the tendency of reducing the circuit of the permanent checkpoints and making them mobile, anywhere possible and specifically regarding surprise checkpoints. The Chief of the General Staff also instructed to examine the establishment of mobile monitoring crews, who will tour amongst the forces and will supervise the realization of instructions with the attempt to narrow down weakness-points. The Chief of the General Staff emphasized the importance and the sensitivity and openness that needs to be referred to the remarks made by army reserved soldiers and their enlightenments, as their having accumulated operational experience. These harsh incidents, concluded the Chief of the General Staff, are a part of the continuous fighting of terror.