An Israeli soldier was killed by friendly fire on Monday night while participating in the apprehension of Palestinian terrorist infiltrators from the Gaza Strip.
Sgt. Gavriel Chepitch, 21, was part of an Armored Corps. squad that responded first to the Gaza security fence as three terrorists made their way over the barrier. A second infantry squad arrived a short time later. When the infantry soldiers spotted a suspicious figure, they opened fire, not aware that it was a fellow Israeli soldier and that the terrorists had already been captured.
The Israeli army immediately launched an investigation into the incident. Officials said that clearly something had gone wrong in the command-and-control systems used by the Gaza Division.
Chepitch was posthumously promoted to staff-sergeant.