An infantry officer was dismissed from the military and may face criminal charges over an unauthorized tank attack on Palestinian farmers during last month’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said Friday.
Toward the end of the campaign, a platoon commander from the Nahal Brigade’s 50th Battalion ordered a tank under his command to open fire with a machine gun at the group of three Palestinian civilians who were working near the border, hitting at least one of them. The farmer’s condition was not immediately known, nor was the exact date of the incident.
“An investigation determined that the fire was carried out in violation of orders and professional protocol,” the IDF said.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said the unauthorized attack was a “serious incident that does not at all match IDF values.”
The military said the Nahal platoon commander was discharged both from his position and from the IDF in general. The machine gunner, from the 7th Armored Brigade, was also expected to be dismissed from his position.
The commander of the Nahal company was also expected to receive an official reprimand, the IDF said.
The disciplinary actions were ordered by the head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, as well as the head of the IDF Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram. Kohavi was also informed of the matter and approved the measures.
In addition, the Military Police’s Investigative Unit has opened a probe into the incident after which the Military Advocate General Unit will determine if criminal charges should be filed.