The IDF solider was shot and killed while driving in an army vehicle not far from a military outpost along the Israeli-Lebanese border late last night was Petty Officer 1st Class Shlomi Cohen, 31 from Afula, who will be laid to rest this afternoon in Haifa. According to an initial IDF assessments, he was killed by the fire of a Lebanese soldier “who acted on his own accord,” the army said.
After the incident occurred last night, the IDF opened fire towards suspicious figures across the border. Later, at around midnight, heavy artillery was brought in and implemented against a Lebanese Armed Forces’ outpost. The IDF believe the assailant was wounded as a response of the IDF onslaught.
The IDF flooded the area with large number of forces and IDF lookouts spotted crowds of Lebanese Armed Forces gathering on the Lebanese side of the scene.
In contradiction to initial assessments, the IDF now claim the navy soldier was on operational duty at the time of his death – driving alone en route to the Rosh Hanikra outpost.
The investigation revealed that he was shot six to 10 times from a distance of some 200 meters (218 yards). Gun shot holes were also found on the car. The investigation further said that the soldier was driving – in accordance with IDF directives – in an administrative vehicle (as opposed to an armored one) but along a side-route and not the border-fence road.
An IDF source stressed that the IDF’s investigation will also examine the directives regulating travel along sensitive and dangerous axes in unarmored vehicles.
The investigation also revealed in the few hundred meters that run between the IDF outpost and the Lebanese one – from which the shooting originated – a UNIFIL outpost is situated. The area itself, east of the army’s outpost, is covered with heavy vegetation and from time to time UNIFIL conducts infrastructure work along the fence.
The area – an Israeli enclave into Lebanon – was also scene to a serious security incident last August, when four soldiers were wounded by an explosive device. Read more at Ynet.