IDF sentences commanders to brief jail terms over accidental tank fire into Gaza

The military hands down brief prison sentences to several Armored Corps commanders, after a tank accidentally fired a live round into the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

The mistaken fire occurred during a drill in the area on December 14. The tank shell hit an abandoned building, but there were no reports of injuries. The Israel Defense Forces said at the time it was investigating the incident.

“The investigation determined that this was a grave incident and raised a number of failures, mishaps and mistakes in the conduct of the commanders and in the safety aspects,” an Israel Defense Forces statement says. “The conclusions of the investigation revealed the commanders didn’t act in accordance with the required procedures before the exercise and during it, which led to the force’s misunderstanding that it was a real incident.”

The IDF says the commander of the tank platoon was sentenced to seven days in military prison. The company commander and his deputy are hit with 14-day prison sentences for their “overall responsibility for the incident,” according to the statement.

— Alexander Fulbright