The IDF’s command investigation following the attempted attack towards the town of Neve Tsuf (Halamish) in Samaria, during which a Palestinian Authority toddler was accidentally killed and another PA man was wounded by IDF forces, was presented Tuesday to the commander of the Central Command, General Yehuda Fox.
On Thursday, June 1, 2023, two terrorists fired at Neve Tsuf and a military position next to it, located on the outskirts of the Arab village of Nabi Saleh. The force manning the position responded by firing several bullets, and as a result of a misidentification of the source of the gunfire, a toddler and his father were injured by IDF fire.
From the findings of the investigation, it appears that an observer reported that she identified two terrorists shooting at the town and the position. An officer in the company arrived at the scene and began scanning the area of the village to locate the terrorists. During the search, he spotted a suspicious vehicle and fired in the air against orders.
At the same time, a soldier who was in a position near the village, recognized two figures entering the car. The soldier thought that these were terrorists fleeing the scene, and that they were shooting at him from the vehicle. After receiving permission from his commander, the soldier fired several bullets at the vehicle. The investigation revealed that the sequence of events and the hearing of the officer’s gunfire during the sweeps of the village, caused the soldier to believe that it was the gunfire of the fleeing terrorists.
The investigation revealed gaps in the command and control of the commanders in the incident, as well as in the reports and dialogue between the forces in the field which led to wrong decision-making.
Following the findings of the investigation, on Wednesday the commander of the “Kfir” brigade, Col. Sharon Altit, decided to initiate a command reprimand procedure in the case of an officer in the company, for firing into the air in violation of orders.