IDF rolls out new dummy grenades after accident wounds soldier
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IDF rolls out new dummy grenades after accident wounds soldier

Officer sentenced to week in prison, two others reprimanded over blast that seriously injured serviceman in September

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative. An Israeli soldier throws a stun grenade toward Palestinian rioters during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron on December 8, 2017. (Hazem Bader/AFP)
Illustrative. An Israeli soldier throws a stun grenade toward Palestinian rioters during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron on December 8, 2017. (Hazem Bader/AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces rolled out imitation grenades for use in future drills on Tuesday, following an accidental grenade explosion last year that saw a soldier seriously injured.

The army said an artillery officer was sentenced to one week in prison earlier this month over the September 2017 incident.

“The commander of the Artillery Corps battery was sentenced to seven days in prison, in light of failures in his conduct, as he was found to have not carried out the safety procedures required for running an exercise, as is expected of him,” the army said.

The captain completed his week-long sentence on Sunday, the military said earlier this week.

The army stressed that while the officer did not act as required of him following the accident, he was not responsible for the blast.

Following an investigation of the training accident, the Israel Defense Forces also unveiled a series of new tools that are designed to prevent such incidents in the future.

“New dummy grenades have been delivered to all training bases that more realistically imitate real grenades, and a new instructional video on the topic has also been produced,” the army said in a statement.

On September 8, a hand grenade exploded during a training exercise in the Shivta army base in southern Israel, seriously wounding an IDF soldier.

The army police opened an investigation of the accident and the army’s head of doctrine for the infantry and paratroopers, Col. Yehoshua Ribak, also looked into the matter.

Last week, Ribak’s findings were presented to the head of the IDF’s Ground Forces last week, Maj. Gen. Kobi Barak, the army said.

“In light of the findings, new comprehensive safety protocols were sent out to company commanders and the instructions regarding hand grenade exercises were made clearer in order to prevent events like this from happening again,” the army said in a statement.

In addition to the battery commander, two other officers were punished over the training accident.

The commander of the army’s 632nd Artillery Regiment and the commander of the training base each received official reprimands from the head of the Ground Forces, the army said.

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