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IDF soldier killed by ‘friendly fire’ during Jenin operation

Chief Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzchak was mistakenly shot in July during firefight with terrorists.

David Yehuda Yitzhak. Credit: IDF.
David Yehuda Yitzhak. Credit: IDF.

An Israeli soldier who died during last month’s raid in Jenin was killed by “friendly fire,” an IDF investigation has concluded.

Chief Sgt. David Yehuda Yitzchak was shot on July 4 as troops were exiting the Samaria city following an intensive two-day counterterrorism operation.

The 23-year-old non-commissioned officer from the Egoz commando unit was treated for a gunshot wound at the scene before being evacuated to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the IDF probe, other Israeli commandos mistakenly shot Yitzchak while he was securing the start of the military withdrawal in a tight alley in the city’s refugee camp.

The shooting occurred during an exchange of gunfire with Palestinian terrorists.

“A force identified a suspicious figure and suspicious movements in one of the buildings, and fired at it,” the report states.

The investigation revealed “gaps” in the positioning of forces during the exit from the camp. Disciplinary measures were taken against officers in the 89th Oz Brigade, which is composed solely of infantry special-operations units and known as the Commando Brigade, the army said.

After reviewing the findings of the probe, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi called the “friendly fire” incident “difficult and unfortunate.

“Egoz, together with the commando units, operated in the Jenin refugee camp in a brave and admirable manner, leading to operational successes and expanding the IDF’s freedom of action. Along with this, we will draw the necessary conclusions and implement them in the combat units,” Halevi said.

The findings of the investigation were presented to Yitzchak’s family.

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