IDF Claims Censoring Flood-Damaged F-16s Wasn’t Coverup Attempt

The conclusions of a probe by senior Israeli brass into a January incident at Hatzor Air Base that caused millions of dollars in damage to F-16 fighter jets found that while the israel Defense Forces (IDF) failed to prepare for the floods, the decision to try and censor photos of the mishap wasn’t part of a coverup attempt.

On Wednesday, the results of an internal probe by the IDF were handed to IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi. The subject was catastrophic flooding at Hatzor Air Base on January 9 that inundated eight F-16 Falcon fighter jets, causing $8.7 million in damage.

Photos of the F-16s, which israel ironically calls “Sufa” (storm), circulated on social media after the IDF blocked their publication by invoking its power to censor military information.

​Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amiram Norkin admitted last month the use of the media policy was erroneous, noting the hesitation to publish the photos came from fears that announcing the loss of operational capabilities could serve the enemy, according to Haaretz. However, Wednesday’s report denies this hesitation was an attempt at a coverup.

‘As If We Were Still in the 1950s’

“The chief of staff stressed that the investigation found that from the start of the flooding incident and throughout it, there was no intention to hide it from the public,” the IDF said in a statement carried by the Times of Israel on Thursday. “The opposite is true – there was a clear intention to publicize it….

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