Israeli Reservist Shot Dead in Case of Mistaken Identity

A case of mistaken identity resulted in the death of an Israel Defense Force reservist Sunday night and the suspension of his commanding officer for negligence.

Reserve Sgt. Ya’acov Scheinman, 24, of Rishon le-Zion was fatally shot by the mukhtar, head man, of the Fara refugee camp near Nablus, an appointee of the Israeli civil administration in the West Bank.

He told questioners after the incident that he mistook an IDF unit approaching his house for intifada activists aiming to harm him for collaboration, and fired in self-defense.

He possessed his gun legally for protection.

Maj. Gen. Danny Yatom, commander of the central sector, which includes the West Bank, suspended the commanding officer in charge of the operation and another officer after IDF investigators concluded that it had been inadequately planned and executed.

An army communique said the commanding officers were insufficiently familiar with the details of the operation and the officer in direct charge “did not prepare his mission adequately.”

He failed to recognize the house his men entered as the mukhtar’s house, the army said.

Meanwhile, the assistant commander of the Gaza police, Yosef Avni, escaped unhurt when an unidentified gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon on his car on the beach road south of Gaza on Monday. The assailant escaped.

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