IDF soldier seriously injured in what military suspects to be rock-throwing game

The military suspects that the injury occurred during a dangerous game soldiers were playing on the base.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An Artillery Corps soldier was seriously injured in the head by a rock while in his military post in the North Tuesday, the IDF spokesman said, adding that the incident occurred “under non-operational circumstances.”

The current suspicion is that a group of soldiers were playing a game in which they were throwing rocks at the post’s chemical toilets.

According to a report in Ynet, the soldier was struck in the head when he left the facilities. He was immediately taken to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, where his condition was described as serious but stable. He is currently under sedation.

The soldier’s family has been notified, and the military police have opened an investigation. The findings will be passed on to the judge advocate’s office where it will be decided if anyone should be criminally charged in the incident.

Most accidents on military bases in Israel are caused by the negligent discharge of a weapon, whether army-issued or a privately-owned handgun.

Last year, Sgt. Shahar Strug of the elite Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit was killed when a friend beat him in a game of “Draw” and pressed the trigger of his pistol, not realizing that a bullet was chambered.

In a plea bargain, the devastated soldier was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and downgraded to the rank of private. He was granted an early parole after serving some seven months in jail.

The army tries to instill strict gun safety consciousness in all its soldiers, and officers whose men are found to be playing with their weapons are also punished. For example, in the Strug case, the entire chain of command up to the unit commander suffered repercussions.

The commander, a lieutenant-colonel, did not get a planned promotion and has to wait at least two years to rise in rank again.

A “severe reprimand” was recorded in the personnel file of the major who headed the platoon, and any promotion was also delayed for two years. In the lower ranks, Strug’s team lieutenant and sergeant were both dismissed from their positions.