Border Police recruit collapses, dies during training

Sister of Cpl. Maya Aloni says she suffered from shortness of breath but commanders ‘forced her to continue’ obstacle course

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Cpl. Maya Aloni, who died May 29, 2023 at the Border Police training base in the West Bank. (Israel Police)
Cpl. Maya Aloni, who died May 29, 2023 at the Border Police training base in the West Bank. (Israel Police)

A newly recruited Border Police officer died during physical fitness training on Monday, officials said.

Cpl. Maya Aloni collapsed while going through a physically demanding obstacle course at the Border Police training base near the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Michmash.

She was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Jerusalem but was declared dead a short while later.

Aloni was 18 years old and came from the small moshav of Sha’ar Efraim in central Israel. She had been drafted to the Border Police in March.

In the wake of the incident, Deputy Commissioner Amir Cohen, chief of the Border Police, ordered a halt to all training exercises until an initial investigation could be conducted. Cohen also was to appoint a senior officer to further investigate the circumstances, a police statement said.

Aloni is survived by her parents, two brothers, and a sister.

In an Instagram story cited by the Kan public broadcaster on Tuesday, Aloni’s sister said the newly recruited officer was “forced to continue” the obstacle course despite suffering from shortness of breath.

“Yesterday there was [the obstacle course training] during extreme heat, and my sister suffered from shortness of breath and told her commanders that she was no longer fit and had to stop, and they didn’t listen to her and forced her to continue,” she said.

“There was huge negligence here and it was an unnecessary death. My sister deserves justice,” the post added.

In April, an Israel Defense Forces cadet undergoing officer’s training collapsed and died during a routine patrol in the West Bank. The circumstances surrounding her death were being investigated, the IDF said at the time.

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