Five IDF soldiers mistakenly killed by tank fire in Jabalia
An Israeli military tank on the border with Gaza, April 7, 2024. Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The tank crews fired at a building they thought harbored terrorists, but instead was the field headquarters of the deputy commander of the Paratroopers’ 202nd Battalion.

JNS Staff Report
May 16, 2024

Five Israeli soldiers were killed by friendly fire in Jabalia in northern Gaza on Wednesday.

A platoon commander and four soldiers from Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers Brigade died and eight additional soldiers were wounded by IDF tank fire, three seriously. The rest of the wounded soldiers were evacuated to hospital in moderate and light condition.

The casualties were identified by the IDF on Thursday morning as Capt. Roy Beit Ya’akov, 22, from Eli; Staff Sgt. Gilad Arye Boim, 22, from Karnei Shomron in Samaria; Sgt. Daniel Chemu, 20, from Tiberias; Sgt. Ilan Cohen, 20, from Carmiel; and Staff Sgt. Betzalel David Shashuah, 21, from Tel Aviv.

The incident brings the Gaza death toll since the start of the ground invasion on Oct. 27 to 273 and to 621 on all fronts since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Beit Ya’akov is the son of Hadas and Avidan, the chairman of Eli.

“The family, the town of Eli—whose residents and alumni are on the front lines of the war—and the entire Binyamin Region, are in great pain,” said Binyamin Regional Council head and Yesha Council chairman Israel Ganz.

“How great is the pain involved in the nation of Israel’s renewal in its Land. How many heroes do we have, who sacrifice their lives so that we will win and live here, in the Land of Israel, with peace and security. In their merit, we will win,” he added.

Israeli forces are currently conducting a major operation in Jabalia to quell a Hamas insurgency there. The friendly-fire incident occurred at an axis captured on Wednesday morning in a raid that included two tanks.

At around noon, soldiers entered a three-story building some 10 meters from the tanks. According to a preliminary investigation, the tank crews were unaware that the deputy commander of the 202nd Battalion had set up field headquarters in the building, and fired on what they thought were enemy fighters.

“The army still does not know the reason for the shooting and the apparent deviation from the boundaries of the sector, since the armored force that erred organically belongs to the 202nd Battalion’s combat team, so it is not clear how such a fatal mistake occurred,” Ynet reported.

Three brigade combat teams are operating in Jabalia, and around 130 terrorists have been killed so far. Most of the city’s civilian population has been evacuated.

Leave a Reply