During Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which commenced in late October, the IDF disclosed that out of the 170 Israeli soldiers who lost their lives, 29 were victims of friendly fire or other accidental incidents, based on data released on Monday.
However, the data provided did not encompass soldiers wounded in friendly fire or accidents, and it excludes two soldiers killed on December 30 and 31.
Among the casualties, 18 soldiers fell victim to friendly fire incidents, including erroneous identification leading to fatalities in airstrikes, tank shelling, and gunfire. The Times of Israel reported this development on Monday.
Additionally, two soldiers were unintentionally killed by gunfire not intended for them, while nine soldiers died in accidents such as accidental weapon discharges, vehicular incidents, and injuries from controlled demolitions.
The data highlights a consistent trend of between two to six soldiers losing their lives weekly due to friendly fire or accidents since the ground operation commenced.
The IDF attributed these tragic accidents to various factors, including the extensive presence of forces in Gaza, communication challenges among units, and soldiers’ fatigue causing lapses in adhering to regulations.
Presently, tens of thousands of infantry forces, along with tanks and other troops, are actively involved in Israel’s ground offensive within Gaza’s heavily populated areas.
The military continually evaluates ongoing combat situations, particularly instances of friendly fire, swiftly incorporating lessons learned into its operations.
Despite these challenges, the IDF commended the collaboration among different military branches, particularly the air support provided by aircraft to ground troops.
The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 172 soldiers since the ground incursion’s commencement on October 27, with an additional 937 soldiers wounded in the operation, including 211 in critical condition, 347 in moderate condition, and 379 with minor injuries, according to IDF data as of Sunday.