Staff Sergeant Nadav Rotenberg
Photo: Ido Erez

Commander quits over friendly fire death

Major Elad Peretz asks to resign his post following Gaza border incident which left Staff Sergeant Nadav Rotenberg dead, four other troops injured

Major Elad Peretz, who commanded an incident on the Gaza Strip border which left 20-year-old Staff Sergeant Nadav Rotenberg killed by friendly fire, has taken responsibility for the incident and asked to quit his post.


Peretz, deputy commander of the Paratroopers Brigade's 202nd Battalion, sent a resignation letter to the brigade's commander, Colonel Aharon Haliva, in recent days.


Israel Defense Forces officials estimated that in light of the grave outcome of the incident, which was caused both by a technical defect and human error, Peretz's request will be accepted as an act of assuming responsibility.


The conclusions of the inquiry into the incident, which took place nine days ago, was to be submitted to Central Command chief Tal Russo on Monday.


An initial probe showed that Rotenberg died during a clash with terrorists as result of a friendly fire incident stemming from a technological failure.


The data fed into the mortar launching system used by forces during the incident were accurate and were checked twice before firing, the inquiry showed.


The initial probe showed that the failure apparently affected one of the computerized systems that aim the fire. As it turned out, a different mishap in the system caused some shells to deviate off course during a training session a few months ago.


Until the IDF finds a way to ensure no similar mishaps repeat, the advanced computerized system, which is usually accurate, will not be used.


The system in question, Keshet, enables troops to fire mortar shells quickly and at a great rate – some 16 shells per minute. The system's usual accuracy allows the army to utilize it against terrorists operating within civilian areas or near IDF forces. Keshet had been used by the IDF for the past six years and had proven effective in combating small, elusive terrorist cells. The three previous mishaps associated with the system resulted from human error.


The incident also left four troops wounded, including an officer who sustained moderate injuries. Officials realized early on that the soldiers were hurt by friendly fire, after doctors at the hospital removed shrapnel from the victims' bodies. The terrorists involved in the clash used the mayhem and darkness to flee the scene.



פרסום ראשון: 01.17.11, 08:49
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