Israeli soldier killed in tank accident on Egypt border

Three other soldiers injured in incident that came during an operational deployment; IDF opens investigation

Illustrative: An Israeli tank patrols the Israel-Egypt border (Tsafrir Abayov/FLASH90)
Illustrative: An Israeli tank patrols the Israel-Egypt border (Tsafrir Abayov/FLASH90)

An IDF soldier was killed and three others were injured in a tank accident near the Egyptian border, the army said Saturday.

He was later identified as Corporal Eliyahu Drori, 20, from Beit Shemesh.

The tank was on an operational deployment when it apparently fell into a riverbed, wounding four soldiers. They were evacuated to hospital in Beersheba, but Drori was critically injured and died of his wounds.

The families of the soldiers were notified, the army said, adding that it was investigating the incident.

Two soldiers were seriously hurt, while one was lightly injured.

A military official told Walla news that the tank was carrying out a reconnaissance mission as part of a deployment along the border, following an alert that an Islamic State cell in the Sinai planned to carry out an attack.

The official said that an initial investigation showed that the tank deviated from its planned path and fell several meters into a river bed. It was not clear what caused the tank to leave its route.

Israel Radio reported that the fall caused a shell to ignite, which then set off the tank’s fire suppression system. Drori was likely killed by breathing in the fumes, the report said.

The IDF declined further comment on the ongoing investigation.

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