(JTA) Gilad Shalit’s capture was the result of operational failures on his part and on the part of other members of his tank crew, interviews with Shalit have revealed.
Shalit, the only member of a three-man crew who survived a cross-border, guerrilla-style attack on June 25, 2005 by armed Palestinians from Gaza, failed to seize several opportunities to fire on his seven attackers during the raid, according to military debriefings following Shalit’s release, Israeli journalist Ben Caspit reported in the Jerusalem Post.
According to the report, Shalit’s Merkava 3 tank remained fully operational even after militiamen hit it with an RPG rocket. Shalit knew how to operate the tank and could have driven away, Caspit wrote in an article. Alternatively, Shalit could have opened fire either from the main barrel or from a formidable machine gun that he could have operated from within the safety of the tank, according to Caspit.