Two Israeli Border Police Officers Lightly Injured by Friendly Fire in Drug Bust

The incident, which took place during a drug smuggling bust at the Egyptian border, comes months after the IDF loosened its open-fire rules

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Israeli soldiers patrol in the West Bank village of Burqa in December
Israeli soldiers patrol in the West Bank village of Burqa in DecemberCredit: Majdi Mohammed /AP
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Two border police officers were injured Thursday during a drug smuggling bust at the Egyptian border, the military said.

According to the military, nine drug smuggling attempts were carried out overnight, with smugglers shooting heavily at Israeli forces. IDF soldiers responded with live fire to thwart the attempts.

The two officers were lightly injured by IDF fire after Israeli soldiers misidentified them. The military said the incident will be investigated.

Earlier this month, two Israeli military officers were killed by friendly fire during a security patrol near their base in the Jordan Valley, after they were misidentified and shot by a fellow soldier. 

Central Command chief, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs said the incident happened  when two groups of soldiers had set out separately to look for stolen equipment without coordinating their operations. According to Fuchs, the officers didn’t follow the protocols of encountering a suspect that they are seeking to apprehend, and instead shot to kill.

This incident took place after the military revised its open-fire rules to allow immediate shooting at the legs of suspected thieves if caught within Israeli Defense Forces bases. 

Since the deadly incident, there has been a public debate on whether the change in open-fire rules contributed to the killing of the two officers. The IDF denies any connection with the changes, and the Chief of Central Command Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs has argued in interviews after the accident that the friendly fire was not the result of the change in protocol.

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