Soldier Sets off on Joy Ride

A disgruntled army mechanic commandeered a tank from his training base near Ashdod on Sunday night and went for a 12-mile joy ride that ended when he swerved into a muddy ditch.

Sgt. Amit Nechemia, 19, of Yahud, had been on guard duty when he drove the tank off the base, setting off on a spree that drew large numbers of police and soldiers.

Nechemia drove the tank into the ditch after he hit a bus, lightly injuring nine people, including the driver.

He was reported to have fired aimless shots from his pistol as he drove along.

After a standoff with police that lasted nearly four hours, Nechemia surrendered and is currently being held by military police.

Nechemia told police he had taken the tank to protest what he described as the “insulting behavior” of his senior officers in the repair and maintenance depot, who he said had humiliated and discriminated against him.

Maj. Gen. Ilan Biran, the commander of the central sector, appointed a commission of inquiry on Monday to look into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

NEXT STORY