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2 Israeli Soldiers Killed in West Bank Friendly Fire Incident
Maj. Itamar Elharar, left, and Maj. Ofek Aharon, were killed in a friendly fire incident outside their base in the West Bank on January 12, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

2 Israeli Soldiers Killed in West Bank Friendly Fire Incident

Two Israeli soldiers from the elite Egoz commando unit were killed in a friendly fire incident near their base in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. The incident occurred on Wednesday night. Maj. Ofek Aharon, 28, and Maj. Itamar Elharar, 26, were on patrol after a training exercise at the Nabi Mussa base, north of the Dead Sea when they identified a suspicious figure and, according to protocol, ordered him to stop and then fired into the air. The suspicious figure was another soldier who, thinking he had come under attack, returned fire and mortally wounded his two fellow soldiers, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

“This is a very complex and unfortunate event,” said IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav. An investigation has been opened in to the incident.

The base had been broken in to the previous night, and military equipment had been stolen.

“I would like to send heartfelt condolences to the families of the two officers who were killed overnight in a tragic accident,” Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “The two commanders had dedicated their best years to the security of Israel and defending our homeland. The entire people of Israel mourns for them. The IDF is investigating the difficult incident and the necessary lessons will be learned.”

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