The IDF Duvdevan officer who was injured during a deadly anti-Hamas raid in the West Bank last week was carrying a bullet-resistant grenade when he was struck by nine bullets.
The grenade, made by Israel Military Industries (IMI), was struck by at least one of the bullets but did not explode.
The father of the officer was quoted by Walla as saying that it was “a miracle” and that he was optimistic as the condition of the officer continued to improve over the past three days.
The M26 IM-HE hand grenades developed and patented by IMI are an upgraded version of the M26 fragmentation grenade that was designed with enhanced safety features including a unique fuse and safety clip.
The grenade, which has peripheral protection on the fuse housing and needs two-movement factors to remove the safety pin, only ignites once the safety pin is removed.
אביו של מפקד הפלגה מדובדבן סרן ד׳ שנפצע בארוע בבורקין סיפר הבוקר כי הרימון שנשא בנו נחצה לשניים מהקליעים שספג בנו אולם לא התפוצץ. מדובר ברימון יד חדש שפותח בשנים האחרונות בידי תעש כלקח מנפילתו של אלירז פרץ זל בעזה ב2010. החלק הפנימי של הרימון שונה כך שפגיעת קליע בו לא תפוצץ אותו. pic.twitter.com/oIsKo2tJS5— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) September 29, 2021
The grenade has been dubbed “Eliraz” in honor of Eliraz Peretz, an IDF major who was killed in August 2010 when the grenade he was carrying exploded after it was hit by an enemy bullet.
The grenade is combat-proven after being used extensively by the IDF in Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“This is a miracle. Nine bullets struck him and he’s still alive. One of the bullets hit a grenade he was carrying and it broke into two pieces and didn’t explode,” his father said.
The officer, Capt. D and his soldier Sgt. Y., were seriously injured during a firefight in the West Bank village of Burqin when they engaged armed Palestinian terrorists. The IDF’s preliminary investigation is looking into the circumstances surrounding their injuries but is leaning towards the possibility that they were injured by friendly fire.
One of the men was shot in the chest and lost one of his lungs while the other man was shot in the jaw and stomach. The two are also suffering from shrapnel wounds.
Both are being treated at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus where they’ve undergone hours of surgery. Their conditions have improved, with the director of Rambam’s Intensive Care Unit Dr. Yaron Bar-Lavi saying that they are both awake, in stable and good condition.
"When I went over and asked him if he knew what happened or if it hurt, he nodded his head. He knows what had happened and remembers everything,” his father said.
Sources said that the large and heavily armed Hamas cell that was targeted during the arrests planned to carry out attacks in the West Bank and inside Israel. Both Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi have visited the troops in the hospital.
Kohavi called the arrests a “significant achievement” that prevented “significant terror attacks” that could have taken place in Jerusalem, Netanya, Tel Aviv, Afula and elsewhere in the country and were thwarted because of the “extraordinary cooperation” of all security forces.