The kidnappings of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev could have been prevented, Maj-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog announced on Sunday evening.
Almog was charged with investigating the events surrounding the soldiers' captures, and presented his findings to the media in Tel Aviv on Sunday, hours after Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsch, the commander of Division 91, handed in his resignation. Defense Minister Amir Peretz accepted the resignation, which was offered as a result of Almog's findings. Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, however, asked Hirsch to retract his resignation.
"If only the instructions written by Hirsch, which were meant to prevent kidnappings, had been enactedâ€¦ but nothing was done," lamented Almog. "Not only on the day of the kidnapping, but also on each day of the three weeks that the reserves battalion was in the area."
One of Almog's main findings was that a massive gap existed between the understanding of the threat of kidnappings and the readiness to prevent such an event.
His other central conclusion was that a large gap existed between the instructions from Division 91 commanders and the carrying out of the orders on the ground. "In the end, we're dealing with what happened on the ground."