Monday, January 05, 2009

Exclusive: Friendly Fire Incident Kills at least 3 Israeli Soldiers in Gaza

This has not been published yet, but an ugly incident occurred in Gaza a few hours ago. An Israeli tank accidentally fired on a concentration of Israeli infantry (Golani) in a building north of Gaza. at least three Israeli soldiers were killed and at least 20 were injured from this friendly fire incident that occurred in the dark as the infantry moved into a heavily built up area.

It was initially thought that the soldiers may have been the victims of a Hamas booby-trapped building, but it quickly emerged that an Israeli tank mistook the forces for Hamas fighters and fired on them accidentally. Helicopters evacuated the wounded under the cover of intense artillery fire and Apache choppers above.

Sources report that it was an ugly scene indeed. I pray for the safety and success of the IDF and that such incidents will not deter or diminish the IDF's determination.

UPDATE: One of the wounded is a senior IDF officer who despite his wounds coordinated the entire evacuation of his soldiers before agreeing to be hospitalized himself. More details to come...

UPDATE: The senior officer injured was the commander of the Golani infantry Brigade Colonel Avi Peled. His injuries are apparently light and he intends to return to the battle field quickly following medical treatment.

UPDATE: Israeli media now reporting on the incident. The delay had to do with military censorship pending notification of families.

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