Two Israeli troops mistakenly shot dead by fellow soldier

Two Israeli troops mistakenly shot dead by fellow soldier
The accident might have been caused by new army rules, allowing Israeli soldiers to shoot people suspected of stealing weapons.
1 min read
13 January, 2022
The two soldiers were killed during a patrol near the Jordan-West Bank border [AFP via Getty]

Two Israeli troops were shot dead on Wednesday by a fellow Israeli soldier as they were patrolling the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Thursday. 

The victims were identified as two company commanders from the Israeli army's Egoz unit, an elite commando unit specializing in guerrilla warfare. Both officers were in their late twenties. They were mistakenly shot by a fellow soldier who heard them shoot warning rounds in the air and thought he was under attack.

Israeli political figures, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, immediately expressed their condolences following the incident. 

"We will do everything to ensure that such a disaster does not repeat itself," Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement, adding that an investigation was underway.

Deadly accidents within the Israeli army are a very rare occurrence. This incident comes two months after the army softened its rules for opening fire on people suspected of stealing weapons.

The new rules allow soldiers to shoot people in military bases, closed military zones and in training areas if they have reasonable suspicion of weapons theft.

The investigation into the two officers' death will examine whether the new rules of engagement could have led to the deadly accident.