Staff Sergeant Natan Fitoussi
Staff Sergeant Natan Fitoussi IDF spokesperson

An IDF soldier was killed on Monday evening in a friendly fire incident near the city of Tulkarm, it has been cleared for publication.

The soldier was identified Tuesday morning as Staff Sergeant Natan Fitoussi, 20, of Netanya. Fitoussi, a soldier in the Kfir Brigade, immigrated to Israel from France in 2014, together with his family.

The soldier's family has been notified. The circumstances of the incident are under investigation.

According to an IDF spokesperson, "Staff Sergeant Fitoussi was posthumously promoted from the rank of Sergeant to the rank of Staff Sergeant."

"Following the event, the IDF Military Police opened an investigation into the incident. The findings of the investigation will be transferred to the Military Advocate General."

"The IDF sends condolences to the family and will continue to support them," the spokesperson said.

A preliminary investigation of the incident found that the soldiers were on duty in a post near the seam line. One of the soldiers left the post, and when he returned his friend mistakenly thought that he was an armed terrorist and shot him.

The soldier was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Initially, the IDF reported that terrorists opened fire in the area and that forces in large numbers were sent to the area to search for the squad that fled the scene.

Later, however, the IDF announced that the shooting was not terror-related. A military source said the incident may have been one of friendly fire.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said, "A preliminary investigation indicates that this is not a shooting attack. The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation."