IDF Investigating Army Deaths from Games of Russian Roulette

A third Israeli soldier in 10 days has been found shot dead during a game of Russian roulette, prompting the Israel Defense Force to launch an investigation into why this deadly diversion has taken off among its soldiers.

The latest victim, Elias Alimi, a 20-year-old Christian Arab from Nazareth, was a member of the elite Givati Brigade and had been attending a medical corps class for unit paramedics.

Alimi, who played the suicidal game in the guardroom at a base near Ramallah, was found dead Saturday morning.

The deadly game has been increasingly practiced in recent years, and the IDF has been unable to deal with the phenomenon. Parents of soldiers are circulating petitions insisting that the army put a halt to the practice.

In another recent incident, soldier Guy Melihi was killed last Thursday evening playing the game while posted as a guard at the West Bank settlement of Hadar Beitar.

On May 20, Ofer Arieli, a paramedic with a paratroop unit involved in a “friendly fire” incident in which four soldiers were killed, died during a game of Russian roulette at his base near Lebanon shortly after the killings.

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