Soldiers Killed in Gaza Were Deployed in 50-year-old APC

Senior IDF officers criticize use of aging M113 armored personnel carrier, built in 1960s, which was apparently hit by RPG rockets.

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
IDF troops near an APC on the Gaza border, July 20, 2014.
IDF troops near an APC on the Gaza border, July 20, 2014.Credit: Ilan Assayag
Amos Harel
Amos Harel

The armored personnel carrier in which seven Golani Brigade soldiers were killed when it was attacked early Sunday morning in the Gaza Strip is the oldest model still in use by the Israel Defense Forces.

The American M113 APC was manufactured in the 1960s, and senior IDF officers were critical of the decision to send it, with its below-standard protection, into battle in the heart of the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.

The IDF, and the Golani Brigade in particular, has two APC models that are far better armored – one called the Achzarit and the newer Merkava APC, known by its Hebrew acronym Namer. The army hasn’t used M113s in Gaza for a decade.

In May 2004, during an escalation of violence in Gaza City, 11 soldiers – members of the Givati Brigade and the Engineering Corps’ tunnels unit – were killed in two separate attacks on M113 APCs. The IDF came under heavy criticism for its management of those operations, and since then only heavily armored APCs have been used in the Strip.

In 2003, the State Comptroller’s Office issued a scathing report on the state of the military’s APCs, and warned that better-armed troop carriers ought to be given to advance units at high risk.

Regarding Sunday morning’s attack, IDF sources told Haaretz that some of the APCs that entered Shujaiyeh after the advance forces were of the less-armored model, and that the decision to use them was necessitated by operational circumstances. The carrier was apparently struck by RPG rockets that hit it from the side and rear.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism