[Photo: Israeli Givati Brigade (image by Wikimedia)
By Celine Hagbard
IMEMC: A report by the Israeli military on Sunday August 17th found that during the Israeli invasion of Gaza that began on July 8th, fifteen different incidents of ‘friendly fire’ occurred, killing 5 soldiers and wounding 23.
The report was published in the Israeli newspaper Bamahaneh, which obtained the data directly from the Israeli military.
The paper reported that several of the incidents of ‘friendly fire’ were under investigation by the Israeli military, including an incident in which a tank from the Seventh Armored Corps Brigade fired four tank shells toward another tank located to the east of them while they were advancing southward into the Gaza Strip.
The first Israeli casualty of the invasion, named by the Israeli military as ‘Operation Protective Edge’, was killed by so-called ‘friendly fire’. 20-year-old Eitan Barak was killed by tank fire, but some observers have questioned whether he was a victim of the so-called ‘Hannibal Doctrine’, in which Israeli troops allegedly shoot soldiers who are in the process of being taken prisoner.
Another incident of ‘friendly fire’ that is under investigation by the Israeli military involved Rami Kahlon, an officer who was killed when a grenade on his armored vest exploded. The army said that it’s unclear if the pin had been removed or if the grenade itself was faulty.
Israeli forces killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians in the month-long assault on the Gaza Strip, an estimate 80% of whom were civilians, according to the United Nations. Three Israeli civilians and 64 Israeli soldiers were killed in the month-long assault – most of whom were killed while actively engaged in a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.