An IDF soldier died during a training exercise overnight Sunday.
The soldier, identified as Hillel Nehemiah Ofen, 20, from Karmei Tzur, north of Hebron, was on a training exercise in the center of the country near the Adam training facility for Yahalom, an elite special operations unit in the Engineering Corps. He was three to four hours into the middle of a nighttime drill.
Due to the intense heat wave, the drill had been delayed until midnight, and the participants had relaxed most of the day, the IDF said.
IDF regulations allowed a review of the heat situation as of 10 p.m. Sunday night, however, and by midnight, the lieutenant-colonel who was in command approved resuming the drills.
Ofen died when he and the other soldiers were crawling through open fields.
His immediate commander noticed that he was either not moving or had departed from the designated crawling area by dozens of meters and went to check on him.
When Ofen did not seem to respond normally, his commander tried to give him initial first aid and called for a paramedic, who tried to save his life.
Magen David Adom and Unit 669 personnel, including a doctor, arrived at the scene and attempted further medical assistance.
Cause of the soldier's death is unknown
On Monday afternoon, the IDF said it did not know what had caused Ofen’s death, adding that he had no underlying medical conditions.
Despite the heat wave, when the drill commenced at midnight, the temperature had dropped to within an acceptable range, the IDF said.
Other soldiers complained about the heat and received extra water or were given a break during the training, but not to any extraordinary degree.
Infantry training has been suspended until 5 a.m. Wednesday, pending further probes into the cause of Ofen’s death and assessments of the heat wave.
The IDF is putting together a team of experts to examine the issues related to Ofen's death in order to prevent these incidents from happening in the future.