TEL AVIV (Agencies): The Israeli military’s operations in Gaza are in a state of “total chaos” due to the outsourcing of its logistics and repair services to private contractors, warns retired IDF Major General Itzhak Brik.

This comes in the wake of Tel Aviv’s large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip on October 27, initiated three weeks after Hamas launched its ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ surprise raids into southern Israel.

“There is a total mess that’s not being talked about in the media,” Brik, a veteran of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 Lebanon War, told Israel’s Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv on Saturday. He pointed out that under the current system, the army lacks the capabilities to immediately repair damaged or broken down tanks and send them back to the front, leaving “dozens” stuck until they are towed out.

Brik has been vocal about the IDF’s problems, having met with Benjamin Netanyahu six times since the crisis began last October. He expressed his concerns about the army’s readiness for war, citing the lack of training for soldiers and a shortage of equipment. His personal intervention reportedly led to the IDF postponing its invasion of Gaza for two weeks.

Since retiring from his post as MoD Soldiers’ Complaints Commissioner six years ago, Brik has become an outspoken critic of the IDF’s state of readiness. He has raised concerns about the IDF’s “loss of its fighting spirit,” and warned of serious logistics problems due to the privatization of army services. He also highlighted issues such as the lack of transparency in the recruitment of senior officers, a messy organizational structure of the army, and the lack of accountability among commanders.

The war in Gaza has escalated to become the deadliest conflict involving Israel since the 1982 Lebanon War. The IDF has confirmed the deaths of some 578 troops since October 7, with 239 of them occurring since the start of the Israeli offensive into the besieged Palestinian enclave. Israel has faced heavy casualties in tanks and other armored vehicles amid its assault. Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades claim they’ve eliminated “thousands” of Israeli soldiers and destroyed over 1,100 military vehicles, including nearly 1,000 Merkava tanks.

The conflict has also resulted in a disproportionately large number of civilian casualties, with some 814 Israeli civilians and upwards of 29,600 Palestinian residents of Gaza perishing in the crisis to date amid Israel’s punishing air strikes and ground operation. Over 7,000 more are unaccounted for and presumed dead, and over 85 percent of Gaza’s population is internally displaced. The international community watches with bated breath as the crisis continues to unfold.

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