An IDF officer was killed late Monday night from friendly fire during an operation near the northern part of the Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed.
Tal Nachman, from Ness Ziona, was 21. His funeral will take place on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the military section of the Ness Ziona cemetery. Nachman was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain.
The incident occurred as the unit was maneuvering near the security fence. An official preliminary investigation revealed that the incident happened around 2 am
Nachman, in command of an intelligence reconnaissance team belonging to the Southern Command, was east of the Gaza security fence performing scouting duties with a Givati squad covering the team.
During the security mission, Givati soldiers occasionally left their armored personnel carrier (APC), and surveyed the area around them where the reconnaissance soldiers were working. On one of those tours, a soldier said he saw a suspicious figure on top of the reconnaissance team's APC, which he thought was a terrorist.
The soldier then opened fire, and Nachman, who was resting on top of the APC, wearing an armored vest, was hit in the back and died from his wounds on the way to hospital.
The investigation also revealed that the suspicious figure on top of the APC was one of the reconnaissance soldiers who went inside the vehicle to retrieve something and then returned to the top of the APC.
It is not yet clear if the soldier received clearance from his commanding officer to shoot. Procedures to open fire are stricter when two units are operating next to each other. The soldier was less than 20 meters away when he opened fire.
In addition, early Tuesday morning a red alert siren sounded in the nearby Eshkol Regional Council, but no explosion was heard nor were any rockets located.
IDF is operating in the area in order to thwart terrorist attempt to lay explosives. A week ago, a roadside bomb exploded in the vicinity of the border fence, near an IDF vehicle. No injuries were reported in the event.
Ron Ben-Yishai contributed to this report