Five IDF officers summoned to hearing over soldier's drowning

Yosefi, from Givat Shmuel, drowned during a nighttime navigation exercise when he tried to cross the swollen Hilazon Stream on January 7.

July 25, 2019 19:47
1 minute read.
Evyatar Yosefi

Evyatar Yosefi. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Following the findings of an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sergeant Evyatar Yosefi, who died  during a training exercise in January, the Military Advocate-General, Major General Sharon Afek, decided to summon five IDF officers for a hearing on Thursday, an IDF spokesperson said.

Yosefi, from Givat Shmuel, drowned during a nighttime navigation exercise when he tried to cross the Hilazon Stream on January 7. He was a member of the Gadsar paratrooper reconnaissance battalion when he was swept away by the stream while participating in a navigation training exercise in the Galilee. His unit had been hiking around the stream, working in pairs to learn how to navigate in the wilderness.

The investigation found that the planning and the preparations for the navigation exercise had been carried out in "apparent disregard of army binding safety regulations," according to the IDF, and insufficient consideration was given to the poor weather at the time and potential implications for the safety of the soldiers.

The investigation also revealed that there were warning signs during the exercise, which should have led to a reassessment of the situation.

After the incident, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi dismissed the team leader, who has the rank of lieutenant; his deputy platoon commander, also a lieutenant; his platoon commander, a captain; the commander of his training program, a major; and his battalion commander, a lieutenant-colonel.

Commander of the Paratrooper Brigade Col. Yaki Dolf was also censured after the incident.

When the hearing has concluded, a decision will be made as to whether indictments will be filed.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

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