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Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and the head of the operations directorate, who for security reasons is identified only as Col. A., on Tuesday admitted that the army failed in its response to the August terror attack on the Egyptian border.

In a briefing at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Col. A. called the decision to close Route 12 a failure recognized only after the fact. He termed the subsequent entry of senior officials including Gantz and Defense Minister Ehud Barak into the area before the incident had ended a "mistake."

Gantz told the committee that the deployment of forces before the incident was focused and based on the available intelligence. "Our basic assumptions collapsed," Gantz said. "We didn't think the attack would happen in the daytime, and didn't expect it to take place 200 meters from an Egyptian position. We failed in this incident."