ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Soldier said killed by friendly fire from attack chopper

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

An Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache attack helicopter releases flares during an Israeli army raid in Jenin in the West Bank on June 19, 2023. (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)
An Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache attack helicopter releases flares during an Israeli army raid in Jenin in the West Bank on June 19, 2023. (Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP)

An Israeli helicopter gunship mistakenly fired on a building while IDF troops were inside, killing one of the soldiers, the Ynet news site reports.

According to the report, ground troops had requested air support after a group of Hamas operatives were identified nearby, but an Apache combat helicopter dispatched to fire on the gunmen struck the wrong building, due to “the deployment of incorrect fire from the ground” by the soldiers, the report says.

The IDF in response to the report says the incident is under investigation. The soldier, who is not identified, was already named among the 91 Israeli troops fatalities.

Ynet says there have been similar such cases, but none of them with fatalities, though dozens have been killed or injured in other types of so-called friendly fire in the Gaza Strip amid the ground offensive.

Nonetheless, the IDF has consistently praised cooperation between different branches of the military, especially aircraft providing air support to troops on the ground.

The military has said it is constantly assessing the ongoing fighting, including the cases of friendly fire, and quickly implementing lessons learned.

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