An IDF soldier mistakenly fired in the direction of a Jewish jogger from Kiryat Arba Saturday, Channel 2 reported. No one was hurt in the incident.
An initial investigation indicated that the soldier was in a guard booth near Susya when he saw the jogger running quickly in his direction. He suspected that he was a terrorist and called out to him to stop. The jogger apparently did not hear the shouts because of a strong wind that was blowing, and failed to respond. At this point the soldier fired in the air.
The jogger stopped and lay flat on the ground and shouted to the soldier that he is a Jew. The soldier came near him, pointing his weapon at him. When he understood that he had been mistaken regarding the jogger's identity, he informed his commanders of the incident.
The IDF said that it appears that the soldier followed instructions regarding suspicious movements. A military source told Channel 2 that "civilians do not usually carry out physical exercise in that area. It is clear that the soldier feared for his life."
Two months ago, Rav Dan Mertzbach of Otniel was killed when soldiers mistakenly thought his car was suspicious and fired on it. The soldier who fired at the rabbi was transferred to a non-combat position and his commander was transferred to a non-command position. Rules for opening fire were reportedly changed following the tragedy, so that soldiers may only fire at a car if it is trying to run them over or otherwise hurt them.