Eight soldiers were lightly injured Friday during a parachuting exercise in southern Israel. The soldiers were taken to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment, and most were released shortly afterwards.
Although some IDF units train for paradrops, the Israeli military has not executed a paratroop operation since the battle for Sinai’s Mitla Pass in 1956.
Serious accidents in jump training are not uncommon in the IDF. In 2008, Dror Paltin, the commander of the IDF parachuting school in Tel-Nof, was severely injured during a routine training jump at Palmahim beach. Two years earlier, Joseph Goodman, a 21-year-old soldier from the elite Maglan unit, was killed in a jump at Nitzanim beach.
Last year, the IDF’s top brass decided to increase the number of training jumps in order to “return regimental airdrop capabilities to the army’s arsenal.” More than a thousand soldiers and commanders of the Paratroopers Brigade parachuted in southern Israel last January, 12 years after a similar exercise took place.