An Israeli officer was reprimanded after bombing a university in Gaza “without approval” from the army

The Israeli military announced that the commander of the 99th Division, General Barak Hiram, has been formally reprimanded for bombing a university in the Gaza Strip earlier this year without obtaining the necessary authorization, the newspaper reported.The Times of Israel“, Tuesday.

The military said in response to a query that the commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, “thoroughly investigated” the January 17 Isra University bombing and the process of approving the controlled explosion, and the findings were presented to the Chief of Staff, Herzi Halevy.

The army added, “The investigation revealed that Hamas used the building and its surroundings for military activity against our forces, but the bombing of the building took place without the required approvals.”

According to Army Radio, Hiram claimed that his forces felt threatened by intelligence that Hamas had a network of tunnels under the university, and he feared that activists would ambush them.

Hiram did not ask the commander of the southern region for permission to blow up the building, which is something required of military commanders before bombing sensitive sites such as universities, according to the newspaper.

The army confirmed that Winkelmann reprimanded the division commander over the incident.

Footage circulated on social media showed a massive explosion at Al-Isra University after the bombs were detonated, prompting the administration of US President Joe Biden to demand an explanation from Israel, according to the newspaper.

Army Radio reported that Winkelmann told Hiram after the reprimand, “If you had made a request to bomb the university, I would have agreed to it.”

Hiram has also drawn controversy over a separate incident in which he ordered a tank shell fired at a house in the southern Kibbutz Be’eri containing Israeli hostages during a Hamas attack on October 7, likely killing some of the hostages.

The IDF promised to investigate the incident fully, and announced last week that it had begun investigating its actions on October 7 and in the period leading up to the Hamas attack, including analyzing the battles that took place during the attack, looking into the command and control formations of each unit, and the orders that were issued.

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