Levayah for Soldier Killed in Tank Incident to Be Held Sunday

An armored IDF vehicle drives along Israel’s border with Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. (Reuters/Amir Cohen/File)

The levayah for an IDF soldier who was killed during an army defensive operation Shabbos morning will be held on Sunday afternoon at Mt. Herzl Cemetery in Yerushalayim. Eliyahu Drori, z”l, 20, from Beit Shemesh, was driving a tank at the Sinai border when he died. The IDF has launched an investigation into his death.

An initial investigation indicates that there was a malfunction that caused the tank to catch fire. Drori was trapped inside the tank and was unable to escape. The tank had been on a mission pursuing several individuals who were trying to sneak into Israel at the Sinai border. The tank was on its way to pursue the infiltrators when he veered off the path, falling about 15 feet off a cliff. The fire broke out after the fall.

Three soldiers were injured in the incident, two of them seriously. The fire was doused by an automatic system, but there was still heavy smoke inside it. Officials believe that Drori was a victim of smoke inhalation. The mission, which was carried out by other units, succeeded and the infiltrators returned to Sinai.

In a statement, the IDF said that the incident “will be investigated in depth, and conclusions will be drawn. The IDF sends its condolences to the family of the victim, and will continue to assist the families of the soldiers injured in the incident.”

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