Soldier struck by tank during drill dies of injuries

20-year-old soldier to be buried in Ashdod military cemetery; doctors unable to overcome injuries after he was struck by a tank.

August 30, 2012 14:32

Fallen IDF soldier YEHONATAN BEN-YISHAI 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Ben-Yishai family)

An IDF soldier critically wounded earlier this week in a training accident died of his injuries on Thursday at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

The soldier, 20-year-old Yehonatan Ben-Yishai, of Ashdod, sustained severe injuries after being struck by a tank on Monday during a joint infantry-IDF Armored Corps exercise on the Golan Heights.

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Doctors battled to save his life, but were unable to overcome the injuries.

Ben-Yishai was laid to rest at the Ashdod military cemetery on Thursday evening. The IDF is investigating the accident.

“The tank crew is receiving psychological treatment. It was very difficult for them to know that they unintentionally caused the death of a Golani fighter,” a senior army source said.

The source added that despite the shock the tank crew suffered, they have resumed their participation in the army exercise. The drill was suspended for a day following the accident, before being restarted.

IDF commanders have been instructed to refresh safety guidelines for infantry soldiers operating near heavy armored vehicles.

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