TEL AVIV (Agencies): The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has grounded an F-16 squadron stationed at Ramon Air Base for three weeks following two serious incidents of incorrect target attacks in Gaza.

Local media reported that the errors, deemed a “landmark error” by the IAF, occurred twice within two weeks, highlighting critical issues in target verification and adherence to operational procedures.

The first incident involved the entry of incorrect coordinates on the ground, leading to an unintended target being struck.

Despite procedural changes implemented after this initial mistake, a similar error occurred just days later during an overnight mission aimed at five targets in the Gaza Strip. In this second incident, a digit in one of the target coordinates was mistyped, resulting in another incorrect target being attacked.

“There was no compliance with procedures for verifying targets on the ground,” an IAF spokesperson stated, attributing the mishaps to “negligence in entering the waypoints, failure to comply with procedures in performing additional controls by the crew, [and] failure to change habits — even though the procedures were changed after the first mistake.”

Fortunately, neither incident resulted in damage or casualties. Nonetheless, the IAF’s decision to ground the squadron as a precautionary measure aims to prevent future occurrences and reinforce the importance of strict adherence to targeting procedures.

The IAF is likely to conduct a thorough investigation to understand the underlying causes of these repeated errors and to implement more robust measures to prevent future occurrences.

This grounding follows another significant blunder by the IAF nearly a month earlier when a combat aircraft inadvertently dropped a bomb meant for Gaza on Israeli territory.

The unexploded bomb was discovered on May 17 in Yated village, near the Gaza border. The bomb had fallen off a fighter jet during operations over Rafah, landing perilously close to residential areas and posing a serious risk to local inhabitants.

While authorities did not disclose the specific type of bomb or the model of the aircraft involved, photographs of the unexploded munition indicated that it landed near residential areas, potentially endangering lives and property.

These incidents underscore the critical need for rigorous compliance with operational protocols to ensure precision in military operations and the safety of both military personnel and civilians.

By Media

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