An Israeli soldier was killed by a friendly fire near the West Bank city of Tulkarm on Tuesday night, an investigation is underway, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.
“Staff Sgt. Natan Fitoussi, 20, was tragically killed last night by IDF fire near the Judea and Samaria security barrier,” the IDF said on Twitter.
Israeli radio station 103 FM reported, citing representatives of the army, that fellow soldiers mistook Fitoussi for a terrorist after he left the guardpost at the separation barrier. A 20-year-old resident of Netanya was posthumously awarded the rank of master sergeant.
The police have launched an investigation into the incident, the findings of which will be submitted to the military prosecutor’s office, the IDF said.
This is the third Israeli soldier to be killed by a friendly fire since the beginning of the year. In January, two IDF officers were killed by a friendly fire during a security patrol near their base in the Jordan Valley, after they were misidentified and shot by a fellow soldier, according to the Haaretz newspaper.