Bedouin Mayor Urges IDF to Limit Arms Issue, After Soldier Kills Comrade

IDF soldier shot in chest by comrade in Be'er Sheva mall as shoppers looked on; second soldier arrested.

Rahat mayor Faiz abu Sahiban on Sunday urged the defense establishment to limit the distribution of army-issued rifles to soldiers from the Bedouin sector, after a soldier was killed by one of his comrades during a spat at the Be'er Sheva mall.

"I am not against joining the army, but the fight today between two soldiers that led to the death of one proves that there is a need to reconsider the procedures of weapons-carrying," Sahiban told Army Radio.

The IDF soldier sustained critical chest wounds in the incident at the food court in the Negev mall, following an altercation between the pair.

The wounded soldier received emergency treatment on the spot, and was later hospitalized. He subsequently died of his wounds.

The soldier who fired the shots has been arrested, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

The Negev District police chief, Brigadier General Avshalom Peled, told Army Radio on Sunday that, "The soldiers knew each other, and perhaps were even friends."

"We received a report about the gunfire at 11:45 A.M., and the forces arrived after about a minute" he told the station. "We found two soldiers, of an ethnic minority; one of them was seriously wounded and the other was holding a gun. The suspect was taken away for questioning and did not try to free."

Peled said that while police had initially feared that the incident was a terror attack, they quickly realized that it had been criminally motivated, Army Radio reported.