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Viper (illustrative)

A 21-year-old IDF soldier was listed in very serious condition Thursday night after having been bitten by a viper earlier in the day.

The soldier, who is from Hadera, is serving in an artillery unit. The incident occurred during military training in northern Israel.


The soldier, who was bitten twice, was treated at the scene and then rushed to Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat, where he was sedated and placed on a respirator, having suffered from an edematous reaction.

This is not the first such case of an IDF soldier suffering a snake bite during training.

Last month a 20-year-old soldier from the IAF’s elite Shaldag commando unit was bitten by a snake in central Israel. The soldier was taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, sedated and placed on a respirator. His condition stabilized 24 hours after admission, the hospital said.

Just a few days earlier, two Israeli men were likewise listed in serious condition after they were bitten by venomous snakes near Netanya and Michmoret.

Vipers (vipera palaestinae) local to the region are the most common venomous snakes found in Israel and have venom which contains a hematoxin that damages the lymphatic system and blood circulation.

“With the arrival of spring the snakes wake up from their winter slumber and start looking for food and mates, and at the same time we need to become aware of the dangers that come with a chance encounter with venomous snakes, whether one is walking in open areas near the house or in the heart of the city,” the Nature and Parks Authority said in a statement Thursday night quoted by Israel’s Channel N12 News.

“If you come across a snake, do not disturb it. Keep your distance and observe from a safe distance.

“If a snake enters your home or yard, contact the 106 hotline or summon a licensed snake catcher.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.