The IDF has admitted responsibility for the death of the 12 reservists who were killed by a Katyusha rocket near the entrance of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi on August 6, 2006, during the Second Lebanon War.
"The IDF is responsible for the failures and mistakes that led to the tragedy," Northern Command Chief of Staff Brigadier General Alon Friedman wrote recently in a letter to the kibbutz and the head of the Upper Galilee regional council. "The residents of Kfar Giladi must not be held at all responsible."
Following the war, relatives of those killed claimed that residents would not let the soldiers into the kibbutz due to fears that the soldiers would cause damage to property.
Benjamin Ben David, whose son Daniel died in the rocket strike, said at the memorial service that, "the blood of our sons calls out from the earth to the kibbutz."
Over a year ago, Haaretz revealed the content of a document in which the IDF issued an order during the war in Lebanon banning communities on the northern border from granting entry to troops without prior permission from the military.
Friedman also wrote to the kibbutz that the incident would be investigated.
"The IDF woke up a bit late and with too low a profile," said Kibbutz member Uri Eshkoli. "We deserve a medal of honor for our assistance during the war. We opened our hotel to soldiers and asked for no compensation. Moreover, soldiers stayed in the kibbutz throughout the entire war. Our conscious was clean the entire time. I know that this letter won't change the minds of those who spoke so strongly against us."
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