Critically injured soldier likely shot by accidental discharge, IDF probe finds

Ground Forces chief halts all live-fire drills after two servicemen accidentally shot in the past week in separate incidents

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Israeli troops patrol in the northern West Bank village of Yabad after a soldier was killed there during a raid, May, 12, 2020. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Illustrative. Israeli troops patrol in the northern West Bank village of Yabad after a soldier was killed there during a raid, May, 12, 2020. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

A soldier who was critically wounded after being shot in the head Tuesday night was apparently struck by an accidental discharge from another serviceman’s weapon, a military investigation found.

As this was the second time in under a week that a soldier was shot on base, the commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Ground Forces halted all live-fire exercises until the military’s safety protocol were reviewed by all ground units, the military said.

According to the IDF’s initial probe, the soldier, who remains in critical condition as of Wednesday night, was struck by a 0.22-caliber Ruger round, a type of small munition normally used for riot dispersal. At close range, the smaller round is considered less lethal than normal-sized bullets. This is not the case at farther distances.

A Nahal Brigade unit that was stationed at the Jordan Valley base had practiced using 0.22-caliber rifles before being deployed to the West Bank.

It appeared as though a commander had picked up one of the rifles used at the firing range and the weapon discharged, but the matter was still being investigated.

The bullet struck the soldier in the head, critically injuring him. He was evacuated by helicopter to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for treatment. According to the hospital, he was in critical, unstable condition.

In addition to the initial investigation by the soldiers’ commanders, Military Police also launched a probe into the incident, the findings of which will be given to IDF prosecutors to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

This was the second case of an apparent accidental gunshot wound within the IDF in the past week, the military said.

On Sunday night, a soldier on a base in central Israel accidentally discharged his weapon, shooting himself. According to the IDF, he sustained only light injuries and was taken to the hospital.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.