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(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson )
Faulty equipment is the main suspect in the navy's ongoing investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death Monday of a Flotilla 13 commando who was training in Ashdod Port.
The soldier, 19-year-old Gal Azulai from Zichron Ya'acov, was training for diving maneuvers in enemy ports. He had been in the water for about an hour-and-a-half and was diving at a depth of three meters when his partner noticed that he was in distress, navy sources said.
He later died en route to the hospital. He was buried Tuesday in the Zichron Ya'acov Military Cemetery.
On Tuesday, Navy Commander Admiral Eliezer Marom partially lifted a ban on diving but maintained the suspension on combat dives in the elite Flotilla 13. All diving was suspended on Monday following Azulai's death.
The dives that Marom has permitted are called "civilian dives" in the Navy since they use an open mask, which releases air bubbles to the surface. Flotilla 13 uses a more sophisticated mask system which is closed and does not release bubbles, so commandos can operate undetected in enemy waters.
The Navy has taken Azulai's equipment for tests which will determine if a mechanical failure cut off his oxygen.