Hillel Ofan
Hillel OfanCourtesy of the family

The IDF has completed the investigation into the circumstances of the death of the late Corporal Hillel Nehemiah Ofen during a training session on one of the hottest days of the year. The investigation revealed serious faults in the execution of the training and the implementation of the orders for its execution in the aspects of rest periods, supervision, and control of the training.

During the training, six additional soldiers were referred for medical examination due to heat exhaustion. The medical status of those soldiers was found to be normal, and they returned to continue training.

"As a result of the command investigation, immediate lessons were learned regarding the command and control of training, ensuring that safety procedures are followed and conducting a situational assessment in relation to the weather. In addition, at the beginning of last week, a discussion was held regarding training in the IDF in light of the changes in weather led by the Chief of Staff, in which it was decided to take measures concerning the approval of training and procedures for their execution, according to the weather conditions and situation assessments," the IDF spokesperson said.

The findings of the command investigation were presented to Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi by the commander of the land arm, Major General Tamir Yedai, the commander of the Timrun combat system, General Sa'ar Zur, the chief combat engineering officer, Brigadier General Ido Mizrahi, the chief safety officer, Brigadier General Gebram HaGalili, the commander of the unit in which Ofen served, Brigadier General Second lieutenant and head of the safety and quality control department on land Lt. Col. Nir Yogev. At the same time, the findings were also presented to members of the Ofen family.

The training took place about two weeks ago in the training area of the Adam base. During crawling training as part of the "Increased Load" week of the training of the soldiers, the late Corporal Hillel Nehemiah was found unconscious and pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation revealed that it is not possible to estimate the amount of time that passed from losing consciousness until the soldier was found lifeless. From the moment he was found, he was given life-saving medical treatment without success.

At the same time as the command investigation, an investigation by the military police is underway, and upon completion, its findings will be forwarded to the military attorney's office for consideration.

In addition, an examination is being conducted by a team of experts led by the commander of the 679th Brigade, Lt. Col. Elad Efrati, which examines pan-corps issues concerning training in the special units and the effects of weather changes on training in the IDF. At the end of the team's work, the conclusions will be presented to the Chief of Staff.

The Chief of Staff responded to the publication of the results of the investigation and said, "This is a serious incident in which an IDF soldier was killed without facing an enemy, and it obliges us to study in depth to clarify the circumstances of its occurrence. The command investigation reveals serious faults, which the entire IDF should be taught immediately. The summary of the investigation will be prepared after the presentation of the work of the team of experts."