The Israeli military said two commanders were mistaken for Palestinian attackers near the Nabi Musa base.
Two Israeli officers were mistakenly killed by one of their own soldiers during a security patrol near a base in the occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli military.
The military’s statement on Thursday gave few details about the “friendly fire” that occurred Wednesday night, which Israeli media said involved the Egoz unit, an elite commando of the Oz Brigade, in the Jordan Valley.
“The officers were mistaken and killed by IDF fire,” the statement said. The families of the officers, identified as Major Ofek Aharon, 28, and Major Itamar Elharar, 26, were notified.
“A soldier in the unit mistook their action for an attack by Palestinians, and as a result [his] The fire killed two officers,” a military spokesman said on Kan Public Radio.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the officers completed a military exercise in the firing zone at the Nabi Musa base and spotted a suspicious figure while patrolling. They initiated the process of arresting the man, including shooting into the air, According to the report.
They were then shot at by another soldier, who mistook the officers for possible attackers.
“This was not an event that occurred during the exercise. It was not our forces firing on our forces during the exercise,” said Brigadier General Overwinter, commander of the 98th Division of Central Command.
The specifics of the incident are under review, according to the military.
“The IDF extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and will continue to support them,” the statement said.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also expressed regret over the incident on Twitter.
“Both commanders dedicated their best years to the security of Israel and the defense of our homeland. All the people of Israel mourn them,” he wrote.
Defense Secretary Benny Gantz offered his condolences to the family and said “unfortunately, nothing can make up for the enormous loss of family, friends and comrades.”
“The IDF is conducting a full investigation and we will do everything we can to ensure that such a disaster never happens again,” Gantz added.
Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 war. Palestinians seek to create a state with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital in the territory and the Gaza Strip.