View of Nabi Musa base near where two officers were killed by friendly fire
View of Nabi Musa base near where two officers were killed by friendly fire Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

IDF Central Command Commander Major-General Yehuda Fuchs on Thursday night told Kan 11 that the changes in open-fire rules for incidents of weapons theft had nothing to do with the friendly fire tragedy which left two officers dead.

"The conditions of battle are no simpler, and we still train our soldiers so that incidents such as these do not happen," Fuchs said.

"We as an army are responsible for the results of this incident. This is a very difficult event and it is unacceptable. We must not reach such results. We will learn, we will investigate, we will turn over every stone in order to understand and avoid this in the future. This is our responsibility, and we will fulfill it. The result speaks for itself. If the result is not okay - then the process was not okay."

When asked if there had been a violation of policies, Fuch said that the result shows that the process did not take place as necessary.

"We will find the causes which caused this," he promised. "We will examine this event and also the wider picture, in order to see how to prevent such events from occurring in the future."

Fuchs also emphasized that Egoz is an amazing unit, and that such an incident does not indicate problematic norms within it. According to him, it could be that we need to backtrack, to before it was permitted to open fire on weapons thieves, but "that has nothing to do with this event."

"IDF soldiers and commanders are supposed to lead their soldiers to battle under very difficult conditions. Yesterday they could have achieved the goal of their operation - without arriving at this result."

"We are analyzing an incident which was the result of a split-second decision," he added, requesting that the public refrain from judging the soldier who accidentally fired his weapon.

About the soldier who fired, Fuchs said that he had spoken to him, emphasizing, "We need to embrace him, to comfort him, and to help him get through this incident in the best way possible." He added that the soldier is already receiving professional support.

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