During Gaza Op: Five Israeli Soldiers Killed in 15 Cases of Friendly Fire

IDF probing other safety incidents from op, including one in which Israeli tank fired shell at comrade tank close to Israeli border.

Reuters

A number of safety incidents involving Israel Defense Forces troops occurred over the course of the ground fighting in Gaza Strip. Fifteen friendly fire incidents were recorded over the course of the fighting, killing five soldiers and wounding 23, according to IDF data published in the military newspaper Bamahaneh.

In one of the questionable incidents, currently under investigation, a Seventh Armored Corps Brigade tank crew under the command of an officer fired four shells in the direction of another tank located to the east of them – i.e. close to the Israeli border, in the direction opposite to the direction in which the forces were advancing.

There were no injuries in that incident, but the Israel Defense Forces has not been able to verify why the tank commander chose to fire in the direction of another tank. The four shells that were fired neither hit the tank nor caused any damage.

In the wake of the incident the IDF embarked on an investigation coordinated by the 36th Division command, to which the 7th Armored Brigade belongs, and the army intends to take disciplinary measures against the commanding officer.

In another serious incident during the fighting, soldiers from the Paratrooper Brigade returned vests belonging to soldiers wounded in battle, when a fragmentation grenade in one of the vests exploded, killing Chief Warrant Officer Rami Kahlon and seriously wounding four others.

The IDF Technology and Logistics Branch has not yet completed the investigation of the incident and it is not yet clear whether the grenade exploded because of a blow it received as the vests were being transferred or whether because the pin on the grenade was open.

According to the IDF Spokesman, The incident in question is under investigation, and the conclusions will be drawn upon its completion.