Soldier killed in tank accident named as Eliyahu Drori, 20
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Soldier killed in tank accident named as Eliyahu Drori, 20

Two soldiers still in intensive care; armored vehicle said to have been responding to smuggling attempt when it fell into riverbed, catching fire

IDF soldier Eliyahu Drori, who was killed in a tank accident (IDF spokesperson's office)
IDF soldier Eliyahu Drori, who was killed in a tank accident (IDF spokesperson's office)

An IDF soldier killed when the tank he was in caught fire on Friday after falling into a riverbed on the Egyptian border was named overnight Saturday as Corporal Eliyahu Drori, 20, from Beit Shemesh.

Two of his comrades who were with him in the tank remained in serious condition Saturday evening.

According to Hebrew media reports, the IDF had foiled a smuggling attempt near the Nitzana border crossing when it received intelligence that another attack was being planned in the same area.

The tank was dispatched to the scene, but the driver appeared to have misjudged the steepness of the Nitzana River’s slope, causing the vehicle to fall in and catch fire. The armored vehicle filled with smoke, which was believed to have been what killed Drori.

It was not clear what caused the tank to deviate from its assigned route.

A spokesman for the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba described the condition of two injured soldiers as “serious,” but said their lives were no longer in danger.

The condition of a third lightly injured soldier also remained the same.

The IDF opened an investigation into the incident.

Drori is to be laid to rest on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

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