Tragedy In Israel: 2 IDF Officers Killed In Friendly Fire Incident

Maj. Itamar Elharar, z'l (L.) and Maj. Ofek Aharon, z'l. (IDF spokesperson)

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In an especially tragic incident, two IDF officers from a commando unit were killed at an army base in the Jordan Valley late Wednesday night, the IDF stated on Thursday morning.

The officers, company commanders in the elite Egoz unit, had just completed a live-fire drill at the Nabi Musa base and were patrolling around the base. They noticed a suspicious person and carried out the procedure for an arrest, calling ”halt” and firing in the air.

A third IDF officer in the unit thought the gunfire was aimed at him and failed to recognize the officers, misidentifying them as terrorists who infiltrated the base. He opened fire, killing both of them.

“It wasn’t an incident that happened during the drill, it wasn’t that our troops fired on our troops during the exercise,” Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter, the head of the Central Command’s 98th Division, told the press on Thursday morning.

The officers were later identified as Maj. Ofek Aharon, z’l, 28, of Bat Yam and Maj. Itamar Elharar, z’l, 26, of Bnei Re’em, a religious moshav in central Israel.

The Nabi Musa base, north of the Dead Sea, is located near Palestinian villages, which keeps soldiers on the base in a state of high alert.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi traveled to the base on Thursday morning to launch an investigation into the incident.

IDF Spokesperson Ran Kochav told Kan News that the IDF would show compassion toward the officer who accidentally killed his comrades.

“We will need to support the officer…he of course, did this accidentally, leading to the deaths of his friends,” he said.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Reply to Rats Rats DemocRATs
    I do not know their status as Shomrei Shaboss, i am confident they were Jewish and people. In any event they did more for Klal Yisroal than you have likely done.

  2. @ Rats Rats
    Enough of this Chutzpah! Why should it matter in the slightest? These were people protecting our country, fellow Jews! Is that the first thing that comes into you mind?!

  3. Yes it matters.
    You think that all the trouble going on in Israel is for nothing.
    Tattoo shops,pork stores,gay parades,chillul Shabbos. A million jewish kids in public school and no Torah.

  4. @ Rats Rats DemocRATs
    I thought you should read this excerpt from an OU article (full article: You might disagree with some points here, but it is important to realize the tremendous sel-sacrfice these people put in so Orthodox Jew, Chareidim, and all other titles, can live in Eretz Yisroel.

    Rabbi Ari Kahn has beautifully retold the following story regarding Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman from which I present a small selection: “The year was 1982. Once again, Israel was at war. Soldiers were mobilized, reserve units activated… On the eve of the 19th of Sivan, in particularly fierce combat, Shlomo Aumann fell in battle. …On the way back from the military cemetery, Rav Gustman turned to another passenger in the car and said, “They are all holy… every single one of them.” He then turned to the driver and said, “Take me to Professor Aumann’s home.” …Rav Gustman entered and asked to sit next to Professor Aumann… “I am sure that you don’t know this, but I had a son named Meir… (who) was taken from my arms and executed… My Meir is a kadosh — he is holy — he and all the six million who perished are holy.”

    Rav Gustman then added: “I will tell you what is transpiring now in the World of Truth in Gan Eden — in Heaven. My Meir is welcoming your Shlomo into the minyan and is saying to him, ‘I died because I am a Jew — but I wasn’t able to save anyone else. But you, Shlomo, you died defending the Jewish People and the Land of
    Israel’… Rav Gustman continued: “I never had the opportunity to sit shiva for my Meir; let me sit here with you just a little longer.”

    Professor Aumann replied, “I thought I could never be comforted, but Rebbi, you have comforted me.”

  5. @Rats . You’re an Imbecile. How dare you. No compassion towards the family . Chutzpa. Who gives a FF if they were observant or not. IT DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE. You have ” frum” people in your community or are Ganavim, and pedophiles. Go deal with that. Just for the record they were Observant Jews. You should ask mechila from Hashem and the family for even having that thought in that little brain of your. Hashem should help you.

  6. @ rats rats democrats
    soldiers are irelavant to that. there jobs
    Is to make sure milions of jews don’t die in
    Masacres.and just because
    You feel safe in America, that is Irelavant
    To the situation.and I am shocked
    That ywn let you desecrate dead peopels
    Names that’s of the biggest America’s in the world

  7. Rats Rats DemocRATs, were there any frum yidden killed in the holocaust?

    A student in the Kol Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, approached his Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and asked him the question: May I leave my Torah studies in the yeshiva to go [for a short visit] and pray at the graves of tzadikim (righteous people,) in the Galilee (Northern Israel)?

    Rav Auerbach answered, “It is better to say in yeshiva, and study Torah.”

    The student replied, “Isn’t there a time I could go to visit the graves of tzadikim? Doesn’t Rav Auerbach go and pray by the graves of tzadikim?”

    Rav Auerbach answered, “In order to pray at the graves of tzadikim, one doesn’t have to travel up to the Galilee. Whenever I feel the need to pray at the graves of tzadikim, I go to Mount Herzl, [the national cemetery for fallen Israeli soliders in Jerusalem], to the graves of the soliders…who fell “Al Kiddush Hashem”

    ילקוט שמעוני (איכה רמז תתרל”ז):
    זכור תזכור. תני ר’ חייא משל למלך שהלך לחמת גרר ונטל בניו עמו, פעם אחת הקניטוהו ונשבע שאינו נוטלן, והיה נזכר להם ובוכה ואומר הלואי יהוון בני עמי אע”פ שמקניטים אותי, הדא הוא דכתיב ‘מי יתנני במדבר מלון אורחים’ (ירמיה ט, א) אמר הקב”ה הלואי יהוון בני עמי כמו שהיו במדבר שהיו מלינין עלי.
    ודכוותיה ‘בית ישראל יושבים על אדמתם ויטמאו אותה’ (יחזקאל לו, יז). אמר הקב”ה הלואי יהוון בני עמי בארץ ישראל אע”פ שמטמאין אותה.

  8. If someone is a tinok shnishbo, he simply never knew about Hashem, Torah & Shabbos, then it is totally irrelevant whether or not he kept Shabbos, he is a Yid, a ben of Avrohom Yitzchak & Yakov, and we mourn his death. Nebbech, he was not given the opportunity to know & keep.
    If someone IS aware about Hashem, Torah & Shabbos, and still does not keep Shabbos, then he is a rosho, a mumar l’kol HaTorah – we cannot drink wine that he touched and we don’t sit shiva for him. יתמו חטאים מן הארץ.
    Protecting Yidden does not grant a Yid direct access to gan Eden. If a Yid is either Shomer Shabbos OR a Tinok Shenishbo, THEN protecting other Yidden may be an additional zechus.

    So really, it’s not the right question, whether or not they kept Shabbos.

    [being a ganav or even a pedophile does not entirely write a person off either. yes, he may have done aveiros, and yes, he needs to do serious teshuva, especially when he’s caused untold pain to others, and yes we should avoid him, but he is still a Yid, and we can intermarry, drink his wine, bury him normally etc. He still does not amount to someone who knowingly is Mechallel Shabbos or is an apikorus]