IDF Takes Steps to Avoid Repeat of Gaza Near-Tragedy Bus Attack

View of a bus, which was set ablaze from an antitank guided missile fired from the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel on Nov. 12. (Flash90)

The IDF said Monday that it has completed an investigation into an incident on Nov. 12, in which a Hamas rocket exploded next to a bus that just moments before had been full of IDF soldiers. B’chasdei Shamayim, there was only one injury in the incident. According to the report, there were “security gaps” that occurred that was responsible for the situation. The report provides recommendations on how to avoid a similar situation in the future.

The incident occurred during the last major round of unrest in Gaza, as terrorists were firing dozens of rockets a day at Israeli targets. The incident occurred near a memorial site for IDF soldiers. Entry to the site was blocked off by a police vehicle, and the soldiers who were going to visit the site got off the bus and proceeded on foot. Seconds later, a Hamas missile exploded, completely destroying the bus. One soldier, who was unfortunately not far enough away from the resulting fire, was moderately injured.

The report was presented to the IDF southern command and commanders of units in the area, and the conclusions have been accepted, with changes to prevent a repeat of the incident implemented, the IDF said in a statement.

Among the changes will be the implementation of plans to isolate areas where there is a strong danger of attack, and redoubled efforts to keep civilians and noncombatant soldiers away from those areas.

Overnight Sunday, security officials said they arrested 18 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.