I read the piece. We are not disagreeing, however: if you read the various comments by Americans, NOBODY is blaming the TANKISTIM. According to the initial report of Tsahal, they acted correctly according to the COMMUNICATION that they had received.
The question I asked, and which others answered , regarded THE ACCURACY OF THE COMMUNICATION, and whether there was an ULTERIOR MOTIVE for the mistaken communication. Therefore, we want to know WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF COMMUNICATION, WHO WAS GIVING THE ORDERS, WHERE THE ORDERS CAME FROM.
NOBODY IS ACCUSING ANY SOLDIER IN THE FIELD WHO IS DOING HIS HONEST JOB. On the contrary, WE LOVE THE BOYS, WE FEEL FOR THEM,WE HURT FOR THEM, just as YOU DO. We are just VERY WEARY OF THE COMMAND, BECAUSE WE KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT WHO THE COMMAND IS, AND WHERE THE ULTIMATE ORDERS COME FROM - the NWO, the CFR, and the VATICAN.
WHEN YOU HAVE AN EHUD BARAK AT THE HEAD OF AN ARMY, YOU CANNOT HELP BUT SUSPECT FOUL PLAY. JUDGE A PERSON'S ACTIONS BY THAT PERSON'S CHARACTER. IF YOU KNOW THAT A PERSON IS A TRAITOR, IS A RASHA, YOU HAVE TO EXPECT ACTIONS COMING FROM A RASHA.
A LEOPARD DOESN'T CHANGE ITS SPOTS.
AND THE GENERAL IS AN EVIL LEOPARD, WHO IS COMMANDING A LARGE ARMY. DOES HE HAVE SIMILAR ILL-MINDED PEOPLE INSIDE THE SYSTEM, WHO ARE ONLY TOO EAGER TO CAUSE HARM TO THE GOOD SOLDIERS?
THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE ARE ASKING.
THESE QUESTIONS DO NOT, BY ANY MEANS, CUT INTO YOUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THE JUNTA. QUITE THE CONTRARY.
IF ANYBODY DISAGREES WITH ME, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT.
AND ALSO IF ANYBODY AGREES WITH ME.
AGAIN, I AM NOT AN ARMY PERSON, JUST A GOOD DIAGNOSTICIAN WHO HAS DIAGNOSED DISEASE FOR YEARS, AND WHO CONTINUES TO USE HER DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS, BUT THIS TIME ON THE NATION, AND THE WORLD, AS A WHOLE.
Dr Gadi Eshel sent this:
Coming from the Sabra viewpoint, I would rather corroborate another facet of the discourse:Any talk, about anything other than a common, in-battle, tragic, painful and grievous miss, cuts on our struggle against the evil junta that has stolen our state away from us.Please get a littler of the feel of an in-battle mess, we - Tzahal veterans, have grown up with.. and assimilated into our nature, in Noam Arnon's succinct piece from the Hevron site, attached herewith.gadi++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
"באש כוחותינו"נעם ארנון
8 בינואר 2009
ב"ההר הרצל. עשרה בטבת. קור ירושלמי. שתי לוויות רצופות. מלווים שני בחורי חמד, בוגרי ישיבה, קצינים בגולני ובצנחנים. בחברה הדתית – לאומית כולם איכשהו מכירים את כולם, כולם נפגשו באיזשהו מקום בדרך. הקצין מגולני, תושב מעלה מכמש, היה קצין בחברון עד לפני מספר חדשים. הכרתי אותו, ואני זוכר ששאלתי את עצמי אז – איך יכול להיות בחור כזה, איך יש מלאך כזה. את קצין הצנחנים, תושב קדומים, לא היכרתי אישית, אך משפחתו גרה בעבר בקרית ארבע ומוכרת די מקרוב. משפחה מופלאה, שעלתה מצרפת לפני שנים. דודו היה הרב של אחד היישובים בגוש קטיף, והמשפחה עברה את חויית הגירוש מקרוב. המשפחות חזקות, מאמינות, מופת אנושי ויהודי.
אני שומע את הביטוי "נפגעו מאש כוחותינו", שומע את התיאור על פגז הטנק שנורה בשוגג לבית שבו התמקמו כוחותינו. מבעד לערפילי הזמן עולים קולות מוכרים: מיד אחרי מלחמת יום הכיפורים, הסבה לשיריון, אני תותחן טנק צעיר באימון. תרגיל באש חיה, שת"פ חי"ר ושיריון, הסתערות וחיפוי באש. הטנק שלי מקבל פקודת אש. אנו עולים לעמדה, המט"ק נותן פקודת ירי. אני שם "צלב" על המטרה, גבעה רחוקה ועליה כמה שלדי זחלמי"ם ישנים. "מזהה?" "מזהה". "אש!" משום מה, מתעורר בי ספק. אני לא בטוח. "אתה בטוח?" אני שואל את המט"ק. "כן, נו, תירה כבר!" קול בקשר מלחיץ: "שתיים אלף, מה קורה? מדוע אתה לא יורה?" "אני יורה". אני לוחץ על ההדק. הטנק מזדעזע, התא מתמלא עשן. לפתע – קולות בקשר, מבוהלים: "מה אתם עושים? אתם יורים עלינו!" התברר כי כח חי"ר התמקם בטעות על הגבעה הלא נכונה. בנס, האירוע אז הסתיים בלי נפגעים.
אני מכיר מקרוב את תחושת הטנקיסטים בזמן פעולה. לחץ, מתח, מכל כיוון אפשר לחטוף אר פי ג'י, מוכרחים להקדים את האויב,אבל לאן? התותחן רואה שטח קטן מאוד. הקשר מלא קולות, ההוראות לא תמיד ברורות. ירי פגז לבית הלא נכון עלול לקרות. אינני מקנא בצוות הטנק שירה את הפגז המוטעה. אין ספק שההרגשה נוראה. אבל אסור להאשים אותם; גם הם קרבנות. חיילינו נהרגו באש כוחותינו, אבל לא באש צוות הטנק; חיילינו נהרגו "באש כוחותינו" – שרי הממשלה שהחליטו על הבריחה, ההתנתקות, הגירוש, והפקרת השטח לאוייב. הם אלו שבמחדלם המופקר הפך השטח למדינת טרור רוויית טילים. כל הדרגים, ממקבל פרס הנובל שהביא לכאן לראשונה את הארכי-טרוריסט ואלפי המחבלים, דרך רוה"מ שהוליך שולל את בוחריו התמימים, המשך בשרים המתקרנפים והערמומיים שהערימו על החלטת המתפקדים, דרך חבורת החווה הצינית, העיתונאים המאתרגים, היועצים המושחתים, הפירסומאים והספינולוגים, עורך הדין החלקלק, המייצג גורמים עלומים רבי הון השרויים עמוק בעסקים עם האויב, חברי הכנסת רודפי הג'ובים, וכל מי ש"מילא פקודות" וביצע את המהלך המטורף. הם "כוחותינו"; הם האשמים. אשמים באלפי טילי קסאם וקטיושה שנוחתות על ערי ישראל, בסבל ובפחד של מאות אלפי ישראלים, באלפי יהודים פליטים אומללים בארצם, בחיילים שנשלחים לתוך השטח שנטשנו והפך לשטח תופת; התופת שנוצר בכוחנו, בכוחותינו. והם האשמים גם בסבל האוכלוסיה הערבית, בתמונות הזוועה שמשודרות לכל העולם, ובתגובת השינאה הנוראה מכל עבר.
וכעת- ליבנו עם חיילינו הגיבורים, האמיצים, היפים, ששוב נשלחים להציל את עם ישראל ממנהיגיו. האם נלמד הלקח? האם הסתיים כבר תהליך הנסיגות המטורף, ההזוי, הטרוריסטי? אולי, הלואי, מי יתן, שסוף סוף נלמד להבין שארץ ישראל היא המעניקה בטחון לעם ישראל!.נעם ארנון
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 2:05 AM
Subject: Re: FRIENDLY FIRE....., HOW COME THEY KEEP ON HAPPENING, here a few more comments and arguments:Please read below, SPECIALLY THE BOTTOM STORY!MY conclusion , from all the reactions I got so far, is that AMERICANS and FOREIGN BORN JEWS have no trouble imagining PERFIDY and DELIBERATE MURDER on the part of the IDF COMMANDERS, while SABRA ISRAELIS have a real hard time, and have a tendency to exonerate them, only see the good in them, and have almost a congenital inability to accuse the army or the generals of such crimes. Why is that? Havethe Israelis being programmed to believe that the state can do no wrong? Or are Americans to quick to jump to conclusions?
There is definitely a different perspective, whether you were born in this country, or whether you are an immigrant, or even reside in the Galut. WHO IS RIGHT?
I think we, foreign born Jews, because we were not fed with our mother's milk that the state, or the army, can do no wrong, are maybe more objective than Sabra Israelis.
Please read on:
A. 1. bill wrote:
A "communication failure" sounds deliberate to me. Well-trained officers
automatically notify their commands of their movements to avoid confusion
I don't believe they failed to notify. Someone buried the information
2. DS asked:
But how would you know for sure?
3. bill replied:
The "fog of war" obscures all!--Clausewitz
You have to use your common sense....
here is the key phrase in this report:"...the tank crew responsible did not err, but acted appropriately to the information..."This was a totally predictable outcome of deliberate misinformation.
B.while nik wrote:
dati soldiers dead...? if so this was no accident... it was by design and as per directive of peresite..
( and re: the second friendly fire accident),
this is beyond the pale... when will we revolt against such perfidy and murder... done on purpose... not by accident... nik. in sadness... out.
Then there was also the exchange about the thread:,...." as expected, settlers..".:
I DON'T BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCES.
sick just sick... there was no reason for ground troops... we could waste the lot of 'em from the air like the u.s. did in iraq twice in fifteen years or so... nik in disgust... out...
We love them and will miss those great JEWS.I despair at our passivity...I said it many times and I will again do so. Sorry but it is just too much coincidence... One has to suspect that they ARE INTENTIONALLY sent there, DS. No Tel Avivians or kibbutznikim so far. During the Lebanon II war was the same.SHmuel
My feeling is:
Since we know that a major goal of this war is the REELECTION OF BARAK, it would made a lot of sense to send the religious boys to be killed, instead of the above named categories. After all, the religious don't vote for Barak, whereas Tel-Avivians and the Kibbutzim are his voters base. Plus those groups hate the settlers anyway, so gettting a few settlers killed can only ENDEAR him to their perverted, sick eyes and minds.
and then, look what else I found:
It seemed to me that the whole fuss they made on TV about this officer Avi Peled was quite phony. Something just didn't sound right about the story. So this is what I suspected, and I want to share it with you. Follow what I FOUND: read carefully. I stumbled upon the CHOREOGRAPHED INTERVIEW OF THIS AVI PELED AFTER THE EVENT. LOOK HOW THE ARMY PAID THE TV COMPANY TO HAVE THE WHOLE THING FILMED EXACTLY AS THEY ASKED FOR IT. Obviously they were trying to make a specific impression, as though this Avi Peled is such a great hero, etc.... to divert the attention from the true story? I suspected that maybe this Avi Peled wasn't quite as innocent as he appeared, so I did a little bit of research on him.
Just as a NB, police officer AVSHALOM PELED was responsible for the EXPULSION FROM THE PEACE HOUSE IN HEVRON. ANY CONNECTION? IS THIS HIS FAMILY? HIS FATHER? ANY IDEA?? Another Avi Peled is a neuropsychiatrist into some weird stuff.
At any rate, the name Peled seems to be associated with very secular, left-wing families, while the SOLDIERS IN THE UNIT were overwhelmingly religious.COINCIDENCE??? - I know in my son's unite, the Nahal Haredi, they had deliberately picked a non-religious mefaked who hated the religious, so he could abuse them better, and he sure did, with beatings, etc . ( at the end he was disciplined, but not before beating up many soldiers)
"Doesn't the behavior of this Avi Peled seem strange to you? Could he
have been part of the deal, and behaves "'more royalist than the king"
to avoid suspicion? So honorable, refuses to leave until all have
exacuated. Either a great Tsaddik, or a good actor. Take a look at his
picture, which one do you think he is; a Tsaddik, or an actor? On the
second picture he looks like a decent guy, on the first one, he looks
like a crook, wouldn't you say? Or am I being too harsh?
This is a picture of Avi Peled, with caption- if you read Hebrew,-
הערב מינה הרמטכ"ל, רב-אלוף גבי אשכנזי, את תא"ל נחום בסלו לתפקיד קצין
קשר ראשי באגף התקשוב, תא"ל אשר וולך, לתפקיד ראש חטיבת תקשוב בזרוע
היבשה והאלוף משנה אבי פלד, לתפקיד מפקד חטיבת "גולני".
Here is another picture of him, plus the story , more in detail
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THIS CAREFULLY SCRIPTED TV REPORT OF THE EVENT??
Look what else I stumbled upon: it seems it was quite important to the
army to present the story to the public in a certain way: they are the
CLIENTS of AP
Restrictions: AP Clients Only | Source: AP TELEVISION | Duration: 1:57
RESTRICTIONS: AP Clients Only
SOURCE: AP TELEVISION
STORY NUMBER: 591270
DATELINE: Nahal Oz, 6 Jan 2009
++AUDIO AS INCOMING++
1. Israeli army Colonel Avi Peled getting out of car
2. Cutaway of media
3. SOUNDBITE: (Hebrew) Avi Peled, Israeli army Colonel:
"There was a difficult incident yesterday night. An incident that can
occur in battle, in an urban and cramped area, because the houses are
very close to one another. There was a mistake in identification. One
of the tanks apparently hit the house we were in."
4. Cutaway of Peled surrounded by media
5. SOUNDBITE: (Hebrew) Avi Peled, Israeli army Colonel:
"The battle is not simple. There are very many explosive charges,
traps and tunnels in the area. We know how to deal with them but it's
not simple. We have our ways which I am not going to detail here."
6. Peled gets into car and drives away
7. Various nightvision shots of Israeli army
An Israeli army Colonel who was wounded in a friendly fire incident
swiftly returned to battle after being treated on Tuesday.
Colonel Avi Peled was injured with 23 others when an errant tank shell
exploded on Monday evening, killing three soldiers in the first
significant day of casualties since Israel began its ground offensive
Peled downplayed his quick return to the field, saying it was all part
of the job of being a soldier.
As Israeli forces edged closer to Gaza's major population centres on
Tuesday and attacked new targets, including two UN schools which were
sheltering refugees, many Israeli soldiers wounded in the fighting
were receiving treatment at Soroka hospital in Beersheba in southern
Family and friends gathered at the hospital, to sit by the beds of the
injured soldiers and in some cases to wait for news on the condition
of those more seriously injured.
Israel launched its punishing offensive on December 27, it says, to
halt repeated Palestinian rocket attacks on its southern towns.
After a weeklong air campaign, Israeli ground forces invaded Gaza over
Despite international criticism over civilian deaths and calls for a
cease-fire, Israeli soldiers pressed on into Gaza, and edged closer to
two major Gaza towns.
On Tuesday evening, Israeli mortar shells struck outside a UN school
in Jebaliyah, northern Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians had sought
refuge, killing at least 30 people - many of them children whose
parents wailed in grief at a hospital filled with dead and wounded.
The Israeli army said its soldiers came under fire from militants
hiding in the school and responded.
It accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of "cynically" using civilians as human shields.
It was the deadliest assault since Israel sent ground forces into Gaza
last weekend as part of a larger offensive against the ruling Hamas
militant group that has killed nearly 600 Palestinians.
Seven Israeli soldiers have been killed since the ground operation
began, including four killed Monday in a two separate friendly fire
Clients are reminded:
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Re: FRIENDLY FIRE:.. I just received this post. To me, this is not an exoneration: on the contrary, it puts the burden on the SENIOR COMMANDERS. WHY DID THEY GIVE THE ORDER TO FIRE? BASED ON WHAT EVIDENCE? AND WHO WERE THESE SENIOR COMMANDERS?DS
This is what happens in battle. Of course this does not preclude the possibility that politically undesirable units are being put into harms way. There are a number of Russian only units in the Army that for some reason seem to only be used to terrorize Jews in Yeshah. I doubt any of them are being sent into Azah. http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/28469/IDF+Tank+Crew+Did+Not+Err+in+Friendly+Fire+Tragedy.html
IDF Tank Crew Did Not Err in Friendly Fire Tragedy
January 7, 2009
According to the army's investigation into the mistaken fire incidents in Gaza that led to deaths and tens of injuries, the tank crew responsible did not err, but acted appropriately to the information of mistaken identity. Four Golani soldiers and a paratrooper were killed by the mistaken fire, with officials explaining the tank crew acted properly but were given erroneous information. Among the many wounded was the brigade commander, Colonel Avi Peled, who Baruch Hashem only sustained light shrapnel injuries.
Peled explains that the building hit by tank fire was being used as a forward command center, explaining both the he and the battalion commander were on the top floor, using the height as a vantage point to maintain a lookout on the surrounding area. They feared there were terrorists in the area, prompting them to request tank fire support. A tank positioned several hundreds meters (yards) away was given the order to fire, but they mistakenly identified the two as terrorists instead of IDF officers. In the second mistaken fire, the tank crew also received the open fire order from a senior officer. The explanation given is the difference in height between the structure and the tank crew led to the erroneous identification of IDF personnel as terrorists.
In both cases report IDF officials following the preliminary investigation, the responsibility does not fall on the tank crews but on the senior commanders. Giving them backing, the commanders of the tank crews have already announced they performed in accordance to direct orders and they are not being removed from the Gaza fighting, but will remain in their posts.
Gaza Command on Tuesday modified the open-fire orders for tanks, demanding yet another confirmation between forces prior to actually firing.
Peled was lightly wounded and refused to permit medic to evacuate him from the scene, personally overseeing the evacuation of all the wounded prior to leaving the area. "I am not a hero" he explains, but "I did what is expected of me as an officer" he explains.
Also among the wounded in the mistaken fire incident was Battalion Commander Lt.-Colonel Oren Cohen, who sustained very serious injuries. Baruch Hashem, his condition is improving and he is no longer in life-threatening danger.
Replacing Cohen temporarily is his predecessor, Lt.-Colonel Yoav Mordechai.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)
Golani commander returns to Gaza after being woundedJan. 7, 2009
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST
Moving through the tight alleyways of Saja'iya on Monday night, Golani Brigade commander Col. Avi Peled and his men came under a rain of Hamas mortar fire.
Together with Lt.-Col. Oren Cohen, commander of the brigade's 13th "Gideon" Battalion, the force ducked into an empty home, apparently still under construction.
The force had been inside the Strip since Saturday night, fighting terrorists on the northeastern outskirts of Gaza City's Saja'iya neighborhood.
Peled and Cohen led several dozen soldiers into the house and climbed to the third floor, where they began setting up the brigade's forward tactical command post to prepare for the night ahead. Initial probes indicate that the force failed to report that it had moved into the structure, which was thought to be empty
A tank several hundred meters away noticed the suspicious movement in the building and opened fire, hitting it with two shells. The soldiers didn't have much of a chance.
Three men were killed: Cpl. Yousef Moadi, 19, who lived recently in Haifa, but was originally from the Druse village of Yirka; Maj. Dagan Wartman, 32, from Ma'aleh Michmash in the Binyamin region; and St.-Sgt. Nitai Stern, 21, from Jerusalem. Peled and Cohen were moderately wounded. Another 15 soldiers were also wounded, mostly lightly.
Initially thinking the blast was caused by a Hamas missile attack, the IDF responded strongly.
Brig.-Gen. ( res.) Zvika Fogel, a former deputy OC Southern Command and in charge of artillery fire for Operation Cast Lead, ordered cannons to pound open fields near the building to deter Hamas terrorists from reaching the area.
Little did Fogel know that he would soon be overseeing the evacuation of his own son, among those wounded by the tank.
The evacuation took some time and Peled, despite his injury, refused to leave the battlefield until all of his wounded comrades were evacuated to hospitals in Israel.
"There was a difficult incident Monday night that can happen when fighting in urban and denselypopulated areas," Peled recalled Tuesday night in a briefing with reporters before heading back into the Strip. "One of the tanks probably hit the home we were in. It was a building where a few of us officers had gathered to plan the fighting for the rest of the night."
Cohen, who lost a finger and fractured a shoulder, also appeared in public on Tuesday, at the funeral of one of his soldiers.
"I don't plan to turn myself into a hero for what I did," the scarfaced Peled said. " I am the commander of the brigade, and I did what I am supposed to do. We continued to command our troops and to fight. We have capabilities and we will keep on doing what we are supposed to do."
Later in the night another officer was killed by friendly fire, although this time near Atatra. The officer was identified as Capt. Yehonatan Netanel, 27, from Kedumim in Samaria, a deputy company commander with the Paratrooper Brigade's 202nd " Viper" Battalion. There, too, a tank spotted suspicious movements in a building and opened fire. Another two soldiers were wounded.
The IDF immediately began investigating the two incidents, which were likely caused by lack of communication and a failure to notify other forces in the area that the soldiers had moved into the homes.This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167290458&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
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11:07 , 01.07.09
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When caution isn't enough
Two friendly fire incidents in past 24 hours require urgent preventative action
In the past 24 hours we apparently saw two operational mishaps that left our soldiers dead and wounded. One case, where three Golani soldiers were killed and more than 20 were wounded, was positively identified as a friendly fire incident resulting from a misfired tank shell. In the second case, which left a paratroop officer dead, the reasonable assumption is that this too was a friendly fire incident.
The circumstances of both incidents are still being investigated, yet the very fact they occurred at the same combat zone and within a short period of time require IDF commanders to adopt urgent preventative action.
The procedures of cooperation and coordination, as well as the safety distances between the various forces and the troops who cover them must be thoroughly reviewed – and if necessary, changed immediately.
This is not a simple matter, as we are dealing with combat within a residential area, where enemy fighters and our own troops move around and at times are located a few feet from each other. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that our forces, as well as the enemy, constantly change their positions. They appear and then disappear within minutes, and it is difficult to tell apart a camouflaged terrorist from one of our infantry soldiers, especially at night.
The fact that both mishaps were the result of tank fire apparently points to the fact that tank commanders still do not possess adequate observation means that would enable them to make proper identification (at high resolution) of the targets they are firing at. This is particularly true when visibility is poor and at night. This problem is well-known, by the way. It caused civilian casualties in previous combat situations, including in Gaza.
These facts are not new, and they highlight the extent to which the issue of friendly fire is a complex and difficult to resolve matter. Such tragic cases repeat in almost any war or operation carried out by any army since World War I.
While the Americans use the somewhat odd term "friendly fire," in Israel we use a rather bizarre term as well: "Two-way fire." The tendency to shy away from calling this "problem child" by its name attests to the difficult damage that such lethal combat mishaps cause to the morale of forces, as well as civilians at the home front.
What is even more frustrating is that despite all the methods designed to prevent such cases, and despite all the technology and creativity invested on this front by modern armies, including the IDF, these mishaps keep on happening.
'How the heroes have fallen'Jan. 7, 2009
Tovah Lazaroff , THE JERUSALEM POST
Reuven and Sarah Stern believed they had heard the voice of their youngest son, Nitai, 21, for the last time on Saturday night when he called to say he was heading into Gaza.
"I love you 'Mamush'" he told Sarah.
As she stood sobbing after Nitai's funeral at the capital's Mount Herzl Military Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, she relived that last conversation.
Her voice broke as she repeated her son's words. "I knew then there would be bad news," she said. "He was my flower, and now he has been cut down."
Scores of friends hugged and kissed Sarah as she spoke with them about Nitai, a native of Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, who was killed by friendly fire in Gaza on Monday, along with Maj. Dagan Wertman, 32, from Ma'aleh Michmash and Cpl. Yousef Moadi, 19, from Yirka. They died when an IDF tank shell destroyed a house they were using for cover.
In a separate friendly fire incident, Capt. Yonatan Netanel, 27, from Kedumim was also killed by an errant tank shell.
Stern, Wertman and Netanel were buried on Mount Herzl in separate ceremonies in which flag-draped caskets were marched in by their comrades in arms. Family and friends spoke of heroes who had fought a just fight.
Yisrael, a friend of the Stern family, told the hundreds of mourners who huddled in their coats against the cold, that Nitai's father, Reuven, had also suffered when his son called to say he was going into battle.
"You said that you feared that something would happen to him. You said that your family had fought in all of Israel's wars and survived, and that as a result, the statistics were not in your favor," Yisrael said.
According to Yisrael, after hearing that his son, the youngest of five children, had been killed, Reuven told one of many who telephoned to offer condolences, "What can we do? Many have paid this price. Now it is our turn."
Nitai's older sister, Shira, said that a true eulogy would take the family the rest of their lives.
She recalled how she had rocked Nitai to sleep on her stomach and bathed him when he was a baby. As he grew older, she made him hot chocolate, and took him to restaurants and the movies.
In the last few years they had both been busy, she with raising a family and Nitai with the army. Even when they were together for Shabbat, she could tell that he was always thinking of his comrades.
"You always knew what your path should be in life. Everything seemed to come easily to to you. You gave all that you had to everything that you did," Shira said. "You did that yesterday as well."
"When we last saw you, you seemed calm and you had an easy smile on your face. Now you are gone from us. I feel like my words are nothing compared to the great void that is about to overcome us," she said.
When her parents heard the news, they asked, "How can we go on?"
"We told them, 'We are all together and we love you very much. We are with you and with Nitai," Shira said.
Nitai's friend Yaniv said he had never imagined he would be eulogizing a friend who had been like a brother. In the past he had seen such heartbreaking eulogies only on television.
Now that he himself was standing in the cemetery to bury a friend whom he would never see or speak with again, he knew that "at this moment your heart doesn't break, it shatters into small pieces," Yaniv said.
In a voice that boomed out across the cemetery, Nitai's father, Reuven, said his son had worked hard to achieve his goals, even as early as kindergarten.
"How the heroes have fallen!" Reuven declared.
Then he asked all the mourners to join him in a song of prayer. "This hour should be the hour of mercy and goodwill before you."
Then Reuven added, "My dear son Nitai, rest in peace."
As Sarah and Reuven walked out of the cemetery, they paused to look at their son's wreath-covered grave.
After a few moments her husband took her hand and told her it was time to leave.
As she stood she pointed to the mourners.
"See, they don't want to leave him, and neither do I."
As they left the cemetery, mourners entered for the funeral of Dagan, who was also one of five children. Two of his three brothers are currently in the army.
Dagan himself had taken a two-year break from the army, but returned to participate in the Gaza operation.
Family and soldiers spoke of Dagan's commitment to his soldiers.
One officer said he was the kind of commander who worried that his soldiers had enough money and who stayed up all night talking with them. He would go around for days with red, swollen eyes from lack of sleep, the officer said.
OC Chaplaincy Corps Brig.-Gen. Rabbi Avihai Ronsky said that on Monday night had glanced over the shoulder of a soldier who was jotting down the list of the wounded and the dead. When he saw Dagan's name he became so upset he left the room.
Ronsky recalled how before the start of Operation Cast Lead he and Dagan had spoken of the special spirit of bravery that lay within the soldiers who were heading into Gaza.
Dagan's brother Shahar stood at the podium with a torn shirt, as is traditional for mourners, and cried.
Dagan was modest and would not have wanted so much attention focused on him, Shahar said.
"You taught us that we do not have to be together physically to feel close to one another," Shahar said. His brother taught them that it was not the details of life in and of themselves that were important, but rather the way they expressed the inner soul of a person.
One of the central tenants of Dagan's life was study of the Torah, said Shahar.
Their father, Eli, recalled how he would sneak up on Dagan and cover him with a blanket when he fell asleep still dressed.
"But I didn't take off your shoes, because you would not let me," Eli said, his voice broken with tears.
Then he rallied and said, "We are asking that the message that goes out of here is one of strength."
He was certain, he said, that his family would be able to move forward.
"But I want to say something else in your name. We will rebuild our lives in a better way, if we listen to each other and we try to hear what the other one is saying.
"Everyone who has the ability to unite should unite. When there is more unity at every level, then we will see how our suffering will lessen. I have no doubt of this.
"Dagan, we will continue to live with you. God, give us the power to continue in Dagan's path."
As darkness fell, mourners gathered bid farewell to Netanel, who moved to Kedumim from Jerusalem last year after he and his wife, Ziona, were married.
Three months ago, Ziona gave birth to their daughter Maayan.
A day before he died, Netanel sent his wife a text message from Gaza saying "Everything is OK. There is no reason to worry."
Before the funeral, Yonatan's father, Amos, said that his son had believed in the importance of the mission in Gaza.
When his company commander asked him if he was afraid, Netanel answered: "We have been waiting for this."
Amos added, "We want to strengthen the hand of the army to continue what it started. That is our request and it would also be Yoni's."
He said he understood it was possible that Yoni had been killed by friendly fire.
"It important to stress that a war is a war. Enemy fire and friendly fire are part of the battle in which those who die do so to sanctify God's name," Amos said.
At the funeral, Amos said he had gone to sleep the night before with a heavy heart. He thought of the war's importance and of the sacrifices it would likely demand.
The next morning Amos learned his son's life would be part of that price.
He thanked God for the privilege of having a son like Yoni. "I hope we were worthy of that gift," he said.
Outside of the family home in Beersheba's Ramot neighborhood on Tuesday night, two of St.-Sgt. Alexander Mashevizky's friends, Diana and Gal, spoke to reporters.
They said that they had known him for several years and, fighting back tears, Gal said he was the "salt of the Earth."
"He began pilot's course, but after he fell out he still wanted to serve in a demanding combat position. Then he decided to go the Yahalom unit, where he served," Gal said.
"He did a few training courses for different elite units and then decided on Yahalom, a elite joint Golani-Engineering Corps unit.
"He loved what he was doing and he loved the country," Gal said.
Diana said Mashevizky liked to travel around Israel. He had been to every nook and cranny of the North, which he especially loved.
He didn't say anything about being worried before he went into Gaza, "but that was his way, he took everything on his own," Diana said.
"We're going to miss him very much," she said.
Mashevizky is survived by his parents, a brother and a sister. His father is a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
His brother is one year older than him and his sister is in the third grade.
The Mashevizkys made aliya the former Soviet Union.
Abe Selig contributed to this report.This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167284833&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
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Depending on how professional the Army from 15% to 40% of casualties are from friendly fire. A battle means that two Armies are in close proximity to each other are working very, very hard to kill as many of the enemy as they can. Once the bullets or shells start to fly, anything can and does happen. So don't be too quick to draw conclusions.
Barry Chamish wrote -( unrelated):
Who but me has been harping for years about Defence Minister Ehud Barak's deliberate murder of religious Jews during the Lebanon War of 1982? Now, with wartime journalism letting the anger of Israelis actually reveal itself, my oft-reviled thinking is rearing its accurate head:
Tzvi ben Gedalyahu writes at Arutz Sheva
On the way up, Barak was in command of soldiers fighting in Lebanon a quarter century ago. One group of soldiers he commanded was a unit of religiously observant Jews. He had them advance into the pass near Sultan Yukub, where Arab forces were waiting to ambush them, and where 23 of our kids died as a result. It is widely believed that he knew of the presence of the Arab soldiers and was willing to see religious Jews die - that way they could not father kids who would vote against someone like Barak - or vote against Barak themselves.
And I'm sure they will ask these questions. I'm not sure whose the bigger conspiracy theorist.... U or Barry. Although he's a one conspiracy horse at this point. But one right store could mean more... Keep thinking.... Better to be proven wrong than proven right.
bill wrote:GENERAL PATTON HAD ALMOST NO "FRIENDLY FIRE" PROBLEMS, BECAUSE HIS MEN WERE DISCIPLINED AND WELL-TRAINED.HAS THE IDF BECOME SLOPPY, OR IS SOMETHING ELSE AT WORK HERE?
Moshe wrote:כמקצוען ,אני מודיע שמידת הפגיעה הדו-צדדית היא בלתי סבירה ובודאי שלפגוע במפקדה זה דבר בלתי סביר בעליל.אך לא להבין מזה שזה מעשה שנעשה במכוון ,אבל זה מראה על מיומנות לוחמתית נמוכה של תאום בין הכוחות על אף מיטב האמצעים האלקטרטניים ,שיש בידי הכוחות.שום מוכח שהצבא הירוק של צה'ל ובחורינו היקרים שבו על מפקדיו הבכירים הסכלים ,זקוקים להרבה רחמי שמיים.
Any way. If it's happened almost be sure it was a mistake of human being.
But beside that, I am afraid that the spokesman of the IDF is not accurate and some times, because of political reasons, he lies. Do not forget that the IDF for example lie to soldiers in CHEVRON to avoid refusing of participation in the destructions of Jews homes, Lie in CHAVOTH GILAAD to religious parachutes in order to move them in Saturday, and so on.
Take in account that it is possible that the numbers of Arab casualties is exaggerated to blow Baraq chest and also that it was a "success" of the Chamas and the IDF does not want it will published because it will decrease the support of the reporters to Baraq..
Lots of interesting thoughts here. There seem to be two main opinions:
or a more sinister and deliberate attempt by "the general".
Please keep brainstorming. Maybe somebody has sources within the army, who have more information. In view of the Sultan Yakub incident in 1982, I think it is imperative to find out the truth.
We have already determined that religious boys were overwhelmingly affected, but on the other hand, we do know the intense motivation of some religious settler kids, which is certainly lacking in the Ramat Aviv Gimmel crowd of Sheinkin Street. So the question is, were they there by choice, or were they picked by the leadership for dark motives, such as the Sultan Yakub incident by the very same Ehud Barak???