by Steven Emerson
October 17, 2014
Interviews with U.S. law enforcement officials, Israeli military officials and a review of official documents suggest that the U.S. denied Israel’s request for information that could have led to IDF Sgt. Shaul Oron, who went missing in Gaza in July.
For the IDF, it was one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war with Hamas. On July 19 and 20, only days after Israel began the ground offensive against Hamas, an Israeli armored personnel carrier, with nine soldiers inside from the Golani Brigade, crossed into the Hamas stronghold of Shejaia in Gaza City. It was an older APC, built in the 1970s, and was in dubious mechanical condition. The armor protecting the APC was several inches less thick than the newer models in the IDF.
That such an older, outdated and unprotected APC was sent into battle would become the subject of a bitter controversy within the IDF. These conditions set the seeds for a national tragedy that still haunts Israelis. Sometime early Sunday morning, July 20, the APC stalled out in one of the Hamas neighborhood’s densely packed streets. Two soldiers got out to see if they could fix it. But this was Hamas’s backyard: Scores of terrorists were densely packed throughout the neighborhood, in apartment buildings, mosques, tunnels, underground passage ways and alleyways.
And then Hamas struck: Terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at the APC which penetrated the thin armor and apparently hit a stockpile of munitions inside. The APC exploded in a fiery blast……