IDF Tanks Open Fire On Own Gaza HQ, Killing 5 Troops In Disastrous Friendly Fire Incident

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 10:30 PM

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have just suffered their biggest 'friendly fire' disaster to date during military operations in northern Gaza. In a Wednesday incident, a pair of Israeli tanks targeted a building which was serving as a forward operating HQ for their own troops.

Five Israeli soldiers were confirmed killed in the incident which happened in Jabalia. An additional seven troops were wounded, with three listed in serious condition. 

Illustrative image: Israel Defense Forces

Soon after it happened social media images from Israel showed that there was a significant medical evacuation underway, with military helicopters seen transporting wounded to hospitals inside Israel. 

The tanks had reportedly been taking heavy fire just before the friendly fire incident, with the Jerusalem Post providing the following details:

Tank Unit 82's soldiers said that they saw a potential threat, the barrel of a weapon, emerge from the three floor battalion headquarters, which was only 10-20 meters away from them. The soldiers hit by the tank were from Unit 202 is a Haredi-integrated unit. 

It was unclear why they did not recognize the battalion headquarters. However, the IDF said that the tanks had taken over the junction in Jabalya around 9:00 am and that the Battalion headquarters deputy commander had only arrived many hours later.

On Thursday the IDF listed the young troop deaths - which included an officer with the rest being among enlisted ranks - as follows: 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.

While it's still under investigation, another local media outlet reported the following:

The tank forces had arrived at the area in the morning, and several hours later, the paratroopers reached the area and established a post in the building. Later in the evening, another group of paratroopers reached the area and notified two of the tanks there that they were entering the building.

Likely this will further energize angry anti-Netanyahu protesters who say he has not done enough to actually get the Israeli hostages back, but instead has prioritized the brutal fight to eliminate Hamas.

Earlier in the Gaza operation, the IDF admitted that many of its troops were being killed by friendly fire in the tight urban setting. It was a shocking admission at the time:

Of the 105 Israeli soldiers killed to date in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas, which began in late October, 20 were killed by so-called friendly fire and other accidents, according to new data released by the IDF on Tuesday.

Thirteen of the soldiers were killed by friendly fire due to mistaken identification in airstrikes, tank shelling, and gunfire.

One soldier was killed by gunfire that was unintended to hit them, and another two were killed by accidental misfires.

Two soldiers were killed in incidents involving armored vehicles running over troops. And two soldiers were killed by shrapnel, including from explosives set off by Israeli forces.

In another somewhat recent tragic incident three hostages were able to get free from their Hamas captors in Gaza and emerged from a building waiving white flags, but they were shot by Israeli troops who reportedly mistook them for enemy militants.

The latest IDF data indicates: "Of the 278 Israeli soldiers killed in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas, which began in late October, at least 49 were killed by friendly fire and in other accidents."

Some regional observers believe that casualties among the IDF are much higher than being reported. As for Israel, it says it has killed over 14,000 Hamas militants since Oct.7.