Officer in Eilat Munitions Blast Gets 4-month Suspended Sentence

A special military tribunal today pronounced a four month suspended sentence on an Israeli Lt. Col. who was in command of a unit in Eilat in Jan. 1970 when a munitions explosion killed 25 persons and injured many others. The officer, whose name was not disclosed, was found guilty on various technical counts though not of direct responsibility for the fatal accident. The court recommended that he be allowed to retain his rank.

Several other officers and men were found directly responsible and were tried and sentenced last year. The court at that time indicated that the commanding officer should also be brought to trial and the Army Chief of Staff accepted its recommendation. The explosion occurred when Israeli soldiers were unloading ammunition captured during a raid on the Egyptian island of Shadwan in the Gulf of Suez.

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