TEL AVIV (Nov. 9)
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has issued an impassioned plea to Israeli military commanders to exercise vigilance to avoid accidents during training exercises.
“Remember that the gun also has a safety catch, not only a trigger,” said Rabin, who also holds the defense portfolio and is a former Israel Defense Force chief of staff.
His call for putting “the safety consideration above all others” came as a top- level commission investigated a mishap last week that killed six members of an elite army unit and wounded six others.
The Cabinet is to direct its attention to army training accidents after the commission completes its inquiry into the still-unexplained firing of a missile early last Thursday, which caused the fatalities near Tze’elim, in the Negev.
Rabin said many parents of soldiers had served as soldiers themselves — some were still called up to reserve duty — and they understood the risks of battle. But training accidents were another matter.
“What can you say to a mother whose son was killed because a soldier failed to act in accordance with instructions?” asked Rabin.