An Israeli soldier was left behind by his Golani comrades in Gaza this weekend after the brigade completed an operation in the Strip. The soldier was found over an hour later, exhausted and frightened, some 700 meters within Palestinian territory.
"The incident could have ended in a kidnapping. There is a chain of intolerable mistakes here," a military source told Ynet on Sunday.
Following the incident, Commander of the Gaza division Brigadier-General Moshe Tamir ordered an initial investigation.
The report showed that the soldier had fallen asleep on the mission, and the headcount which was carried out a few times was faulty, since other soldiers eager to return to the base answered in the name of the missing soldier, leading the troops to believe all were present.
Only an hour after returning to Israel did the troops realize their comrade was missing. At first the soldiers searched for the missing man in the base, thinking that he had fallen asleep.
After several minutes of searching the base in vein, it became apparent that the soldier had been left inside Gaza.
The soldier was found some 700 meters from the border fence, after having signaled with a light stick so that the forces would notice him.
Senior Israel Defense Forces commanders said that harsh measures would be taken against the brigade's commanders following the incident.
A senior military officer told Ynet, "Such an incident absolutely and completely must not occur. In a place like Gaza there is no room for complacence, not within Israeli territory, and certainly not in Palestinian territory swarming with terrorists."
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed the report in principal, stating that the matter was under investigation, and an official comment would follow.
Initial report received via Red Email