A probe into an incident that saw two Palestinians breaking into an IDF base found that the soldier guarding the entrance to the site failed to discharge his weapon before being overpowered by the intruders.
The break-in occurred around 1:45 am Friday as a storm raged in the area of the base, which overlooks the Palestinian village of Al-Ram near Jerusalem. The intruders managed to cut the perimeter fence, taking advantage of the boisterous weather to slip into the military facility undetected.
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The soldier, who belongs to the 402nd battalion of the Artillery Corps and has been stationed in the area for the past few months, failed to notice the assailants as they were climbing to his observation tower due to the low visibility. Upon hearing their footsteps he called out "Who's there?" twice. When no one answered he opened the door.
The two Palestinians then pounced on the soldier, dousing his face with pepper spray. They struck his head and pushed him inside. He tried to discharge his rifle but failed, resorting instead to hitting them with the butt of the weapon, to no avail. The assailants grabbed the rifle and fled, leaving behind the fake gun that they used to threaten the him.
Due to the severity of the incident the army decided to immediately dispatch large forces from within the Judea and Samaria Division, even though the incident appeared criminal in nature. Intelligence services were activated to the same extent as they would be during a major terror attack.
Army officials said that considering the circumstances, the soldier reacted in a suitable manner by trying to fight back.
The attack underscores a rise in the number of incidents that see troops assailed by Palestinians.
The security protocols have been emphasized at bases in the region following the incident. Some posts are expected to be reinforced with additional troops, observation spots and lighting.
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