An IDF Paratrooper who was holding a flag for certain signals during a night combat drill was killed by accidental friendly fire overnight early Tuesday morning.
The drill was intentionally carried out at night as is standard for combat fights being trained to fight in night conditions.
The 19-year-old soldier, Sgt. Or Israelov from Bat Yam, was in the Paratrooper brigade, Battalion 202, and was shot by one of his fellow soldiers at a distance of around 250 meters.
A probe has been opened into the incident, but initial indications show there was no obvious mishandling of the night safety conditions in terms of proper lighting, proper safety indications for the flag holder and at least four different levels of commanders being in the field at the appropriate locations.
Further investigation will likely be necessary to reveal where the breakdown occurred and if it related to misunderstandings by the soldiers involved of their roles and the rules of the drill, or if there was a failure by any of the commanders in setting the proper stage for the drill.
The Ground Forces commander, Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yedai, orderded to pause all training activities in IDF units until they have clarified safety protocols.