IDF soldier killed in Jenin may have been hit by friendly fire

Army investigation into the death of St. Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzchak is still ongoing.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF is currently examining whether the death Tuesday evening of St. Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzchak towards the end of the two-day anti-terror Operation Home and Garden in Jenin was caused by friendly fire.

“The details have yet to be clarified, and are currently under military investigation,” said the army in a statement. “At this stage it appears that the shooting took place during the severance of contact and departure of the forces from the [Jenin] refugee camp, during combat and inside a complex alley. The possibility that the fighter was hit by our forces’ fire is being investigated.”

Maariv’s military reporter, Tal Lev Ram, told 103FM Wednesday that the incident occurred after “a completely quiet day…an hour or two after [the terrorists] started to fold.” All they knew at that point, he said, was that the troops “heard a shot.”

Senior Israeli leaders offered their condolences over the death of the religious soldier, who came from the Benjamin region town of Beit El.

“On behalf of all the citizens of Israel, my wife Sara and I send our condolences from the bottom of our hearts to the family of the IDF soldier, St.-Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzhak, who was killed in the IDF operation in Jenin,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant voiced his sympathies at a meeting of the Labor and Welfare Committee in the Knesset, while praising the soldiers “who operated with extraordinary precision, professionalism and courage. They delivered a clear message: terrorists will have nowhere to hide.”

“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the late Sergeant First Class David Yehuda Yitzchak, a combat soldier in the Egoz unit, and resident of the community of Beit El,” Gallant said.  “The terrible news of his passing comes upon the completion of a successful, precise and daring operation conducted by IDF soldiers in the two brigades that entered the Jenin area.”

The military success, he had previously noted on Tuesday, will soon allow the army “to move anywhere, in the refugee camp or anywhere else, with a team of soldiers, and not with an entire brigade.”

Yitzhak leaves behind his parents, and six younger brothers and sisters. He will be laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at the main military cemetery on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. The family has requested that no media come to cover the funeral.

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