Two IDF commando soldiers killed in tragic friendly fire accident

“This is a very sad morning,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted. “The entire nation mourns their loss.”

By World Israel News Staff

Two IDF commando officers were killed in a friendly fire shooting accident on Wednesday night, the IDF confirmed, as Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi makes his way to the scene of the incident, where he is expected to personally oversea the investigation.

The officers were later identified as Maj. Itamar Elharar, 26, and Maj. Ofek Aharon, 28, who both served as company commanders in the Egoz Unit.

They were “killed after a mistaken identification lead to a friendly fire incident,” an IDF statement read.

The tragic accident happened shortly after the officers were involved in security operations in the Jordan Valley, near the Nabi Musa base. Having noticed a suspicious figure after patrolling the area, the officers initiated an arrest procedure, when another IDF soldier nearby misidentified the officers as terrorists who had infiltrated the base and shot toward them, according to an initial investigation.

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They were evacuated by helicopter to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem were they were pronounced dead.

“The families of the officers were notified. We send our heartfelt condolences and will continue to support them,” the IDF said.

IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ran Kohavi addressed the “serious incident” on Thursday morning, saying it had an “extremely difficult” ending.

“This is a very sad morning,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted Thursday morning. “I would like to send my deepest condolences to the families of both officers who were killed overnight in this tragic accident. Both commanders gave their best years to the security of Israel. The entire nation mourns their loss.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also addressed the incident, promising a “comprehensive investigation” in order “to make sure that such an accident never happens again.”