Israeli Boy Discovers Decades-old Tank Buried in Negev Sand Dune

Police have destroyed munitions found near the site at Holot Nitzanim but are still investigating the armored vehicle and what it was doing there.

The tank discovered buried at the Negev's Holot Nitzanim, February 2017.
The tank discovered buried at the Negev's Holot Nitzanim, February 2017. Courtesy of Israel Police

A decades-old Israel Defense Forces tank was found on Sunday in the Negev sands of Holot Nitzanim, after a minor telephoned police to report having spotted the armored vehicle. Police demolitions experts also found a land mine and old tank shells nearby.

It was yet unclear how the tank got to that location, and further investigation will be conducted over the next week once the entire body of the tank is exposed.

The youth made the phone call on Saturday night, reporting he had seen its turret, as well as a landmine. Police believe the tank dates back a number of decades. Tank shells were also found nearby but police suspect they are unrelated to the tank. Demolitions experts have removed and destroyed the munitions.

In the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, near where the tank was found, officials believe the tank was once used by the IDF for training purposes and that was exposed due to dust storms last week.

The Holot Nitzanim area was used for years as an IDF training site, and tanks were often placed there as targets before the period when armored corps bases were actually moved to the area. 

Since the end of the 1980s the IDF has not held training exercises for the armored corps in the area, but the council says there are still many tank remnants left there. The council urged any visitors spotting similar remains to report it to the police.