IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz promised on Tuesday that the IDF would continue to investigate the incident overnight Monday in which 21-year-old Captain Tal Nahman was killed by friendly fire.
"We woke up this morning to an unfortunate incident. A major disaster to his family and a great and unfortunate disaster for us,” said Gantz at the annual conference of the Yad Labanim organization, which honors Israel’s fallen soldiers.
“We will make every effort to continue to investigate this incident, strengthen the family and carry out our mission wherever required,” he added.
The incident in which Nahman was killed occurred in northern Gaza, reportedly during a routine operation to prevent the placement of explosives on the Gaza security fence, as well as infiltration by Gazan terrorists.
A solider from the Givati infantry brigade saw a man standing over one of the intelligence unit vehicles and then entering the vehicle. Givati had only been stationed at the site for two weeks. The soldier on duty had never seen anything like it before, and thought it was a terrorist.
In practice, another soldier had fallen asleep briefly and dropped his gun; he went into the vehicle to retrieve it. The soldier on guard fired a "warning shot" and waited for a response; none came, so the soldier likely shot at the unknown man, killing him accidentally.
Gantz has ordered thorough investigation into the incident, and was presented with the findings of the preliminary investigation on Tuesday evening. In addition, the Commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, has established a team of experts to investigate the incident and submit its recommendations in the coming days.