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Israeli soldier killed in apparent friendly fire incident near West Bank city

Incident was first reported as an attack by Palestinian gunmen, but IDF quickly clarifies shooting was likely by another soldier

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

Illustrative. IDF soldiers during terror suspect arrest operations in the West Bank, August 15, 2022. (IDF)
Illustrative. IDF soldiers during terror suspect arrest operations in the West Bank, August 15, 2022. (IDF)

An Israeli soldier was killed on Monday night in an apparent incident of friendly fire near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, a soldier operating in the seam zone area — a swath of West Bank land on the Israeli side of the barrier — came under fire by another soldier for unclear reasons.

The soldier’s family was notified, the military said in a statement. An investigation into the circumstances of the incident is ongoing.

The IDF initially reported the incident as a shooting attack, and according to Palestinian media, troops began to search for suspected gunmen in the Palestinian city.

But shortly thereafter, a military official said the incident was likely friendly fire. Citing a preliminary investigation, the IDF said the incident was not a shooting attack by Palestinians.

The soldier — who was not immediately named — was taken to a hospital and later died of his wounds.

According to the preliminary probe cited by the Kan public broadcaster Monday, the soldier left a guardpost near the city for a short while, and when he returned, his comrade stationed there opened fire at him.

Earlier this year, two IDF officers from a commando unit were killed in a friendly fire accident at a base in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.

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