Senior IDF officer shot, seriously hurt in apparent training accident

Lieutenant colonel regains consciousness after surgery; army halts all exercises at base where incident occurred until probe is completed

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers training (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of IDF soldiers training (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

A senior IDF officer was seriously injured on Wednesday after being shot by another officer, apparently by accident, during a training exercise in southern Israel, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was halting all exercises on the base where the incident occurred until an investigation could be completed. The Military Police also launched a probe, as is standard protocol after any such training exercise.

The officer, a lieutenant colonel in his 40s, was flown to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center’s trauma center for treatment, undergoing surgery shortly after arriving.

“His condition improved this morning. He is conscious, breathing on his own, and his condition has stabilized,” the hospital said in a statement on Thursday.

The officer’s name has not been released by the military.

The officer was a team leader in a course for company and battalion commanders, which was holding a live-fire urban combat exercise in the military’s National Center for Ground Forces Training, known more colloquially by the name of the kibbutz next door, Tze’elim.

According to an initial investigation, the lieutenant colonel crossed the line of fire during the drill and was shot in the stomach by another officer.

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