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Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Friendly Fire," The Most Painful Death/Injury

"Friendly Fire" is the euphemism used for when an army/soldier unintentionally kills/injures a fellow soldier (or nearby civilian) from his/her own side. And some of you may want to amend/correct this by mentioning that training accidents are "Most Painful Death/Injury." Basically, they, too, are a form of "Friendly Fire."

Eliav Gelman, killed by friendly fire yesterday
These terrible losses have been in the news lately, because in the chaos of terror attacks, some very precious lives have been lost.

The 30-year-old Karmei Tzur resident and father of two was killed Wednesday afternoon in a terror attack at the Gush Etzion Junction, a popular hitchhiking spot south of Jerusalem.
The attacker, a mathematics teacher from the Arab village of Dura who approached Gelman and a group of soldiers while brandishing a knife, was shot and wounded by security forces on the scene. One stray bullet, however, struck Gelman, fatally wounding him.
The extra pain of these losses is suffered by the shooter who has to live with the guilt of killing/injuring the wrong person, even when as in the case of yesterday's tragedy, the terrorist was executed.

One of my sons once told me that the most difficult part of milu'im, reserve duty is that he's not familiar with the walk/posture/body language of the men (women, too?) he serves with. He has the talent to recognize people's walks etc even from distances, but when each period of milu'im is with soldiers he doesn't know, it's very hard to know if the approaching person is friend or foe. Military History from all over the world is full of tragic stories of soldiers and officers who had been killed because the guards thought they were approaching enemies.

המקום ינחם HaMakom yinachem, May Gd comfort the mourners, the family and friends of Eliav Gelman, and may Gd also comfort the person who unintentionally killed him.


Anonymous said...

Don't be hasty to determine just because of first newspaper reports.

I'ts now reported that it was shrapnel fire that caused death, meaning a bullet hit the ground and bounced up causing shrapnel to enter soldier's body.

Batya Medad said...

Indirect but the post dealt with the general issue, also mentioning training accidents.

Anonymous said...

Just so terribly sad. BDE. May his family and loved ones be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalim. True, so much chaos; when will the leaders all wake up and turn to our Father in Heaven, and the rest of the nation follow, so all this chaos can disappear.

Batya Medad said...