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Gaza Border 311.(Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem)
IDF probe: Soldier in Gaza was wounded by friendly fire
By YAAKOV KATZ
12/12/2010
Paratrooper wounded as his force prevents a group of Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating Israel along Gaza border.
Israel will continue to respond harshly to Palestinian attacks from the Gaza Strip, defense officials said on Sunday, as an IDF probe concluded that a soldier wounded on Saturday was shot by fellow Israeli soldiers.

On Sunday, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo approved the initial findings from the Saturday night incident, during which a soldier from the Paratroopers Brigade sustained moderate wounds as his force prevented a group of Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating into Israel.

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IDF sources said that the friendly fire incident took place when the soldier’s force opened fire at the group of terrorists, killing two of them. Another IDF unit, which was patrolling the area, opened fire at the Paratroopers force, injuring the soldier.

On Sunday, representatives from the Southern Command presented the findings of the probe to the family of the wounded soldier, whose condition improved throughout the day.

The incident on Saturday night came after a week of escalating rocket fire from Gaza, which defense officials said was being carried out by radical al- Qaida-affliated organizations but not by Hamas.

“If Hamas wanted, it could stop the other groups, but they are not directly involved in the terror attacks,” one military source said.

Alongside the rocket attacks, the IDF has marked over 100 attacks against troops along the Gaza border in 2010, mostly shooting attacks, attempted infiltrations or the planting of improvised explosive devices.

Friendly-fire incidents have turned into one of the main causes of IDF casualties during operations inside the Gaza Strip and along its border. Out of the 10 soldiers, for example, who were killed during Operation Cast Lead two years ago, four died in friendly-fire incidents.
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