IDF soldier in critical condition after being shot in the head on base

"The only thing that matters to me is that he live," the soldier who discharged the weapon told investigators. "He's my best friend. I don't care about the arrest."

IDF SOLDIERS KEEP guard in the Jordan Valley earlier this year. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
IDF SOLDIERS KEEP guard in the Jordan Valley earlier this year.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
An IDF combat soldier is currently fighting for his life after being shot in the head by accident at a training base in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday night, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported.
An initial investigation found that the soldier was shot with a small caliber Ruger rifle that is usually used as a nonlethal means by the IDF to disperse violent crowds. An official at Hadassah Medical Center’s ICU said on Wednesday that the soldier’s condition was critical. His family has been notified.
The platoon of soldiers had returned on Tuesday from a firing range where they were preparing for operational activity near Gaza with Ruger rifles. At around 10 p.m., a sergeant picked up one of the weapons and pointed it toward an area near the base’s infirmary.
A soldier who noticed that the rifle was askew, moved to pick up the weapon, and a bullet which was lodged inside was discharged from the weapon, hiting the soldier's personal commander in the head from around 60 meters.
An IDF paramedic administered lifesaving treatment at the scene before the soldier was evacuated in a helicopter further medical treatment.
 
An initial interrogation with the commander who accidentally discharged the weapon revealed two errors which led to the death. The first, was a superior officer who failed to perfrom an inspection of the weapon after training at the firing range. The second mistake, was the segeant's decision to point the weapon towards an area where there could be other soldiers.
 
"The only thing that matters to me is that he live," the soldier told investigators. "He's my best friend. I do not care about the arrest." 
He added that "Anyone who touched that weapon would have discharged that bullet. There was no cartridge in the weapon, it was dark. I was going through the guard towers, saw the stack of weapons, one rifle was protruding outward a bit, I moved it and then the bullet was fired. My commander was passing by and got hit."
The soldier's lawyer told N12 that "The weapon fired a bullet when it was without a cartridge. Instead of releasing him and worrying about his well-being they arrested him. It was clear that there was a superior officer and a sergeant who did not properly unload the weapons at range."
The Tevetz base in the Jordan Valley, where the incident occurred, is where IDF troops prepare for routine security activity, Ynet reported. Initially, it was suspected that the soldier had suffered the head wound from a rock that was thrown at him.