One IDF Soldier Killed by Mine While Aiding Shepherd in Golan

An Israel Defense Force soldier was killed and an officer was slightly wounded Sunday when their jeep struck a mine in the Golan Heights as they were rushing to aid a severely injured Druse shepherd.

The dead soldier, 1st Sgt. Avshalom Mahfud of Petach Tikva, was buried in his hometown Monday. The 38-year-old reservist was the father of four children.

The shepherd, Salah Tabarieh, 54, of Buk’ata village, died of wounds he sustained from a mine explosion after he reportedly pulled down about 20 feet of wire fence surrounding the minefield to open a grazing area for his flock of goats.

The IDF soldiers had been driving nearby and responded to the noise of the blast. Their jeep, speeding through the gap in the fence, set off another mine.

The officer, identified only as a reserve lieutenant colonel in the Engineers Corps, was reprimanded and suspended by Gen. Yossi Peled, commander of the northern sector, for failing to observe standing orders on the identification and marking of minefields.

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