Two Israeli soldiers next to an Israeli tank during military training near Gaza City (Reuters)

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed that the Israeli army forces present in the Gaza Strip and those near the border with Lebanon mistakenly bombed Israeli lands and settlements several times since the beginning of the war on the seventh of last October.

The newspaper said that it had obtained information confirming that “Israeli army tanks mistakenly fired into Israeli territory on at least 5 occasions since the beginning of the war in Gaza.”

She pointed out that the Israeli army responded in the wake of these bombing incidents by emphasizing that it had investigated all of these incidents and drawn the necessary lessons from them.

She explained that the information - the source of which was not mentioned - indicates that “on at least two occasions, gunfire caused damage to buildings, and on one of them, a tank fired two shells at Kibbutz (settlement) Hanita, on the Lebanese border. As a result, the commander of the military battalion was dismissed.” responsible for the bombing from his position.”

Haaretz said that the dismissed soldier was a first lieutenant, and was also the commander of the tank that opened fire on the Israeli settlement.

She indicated that the incident occurred last December, when an Israeli tank began searching for militants in the region following an intelligence alert about the presence of a threat in the Western Galilee region bordering Lebanon.

The newspaper quoted a soldier in the battalion as saying that the battalion commander granted permission to fire on any identified target, “and as a result of an identity mistake inside Israeli territory, two hollow shells were fired at Hanita, causing damage to two homes.”

It also quoted a resident of the Israeli settlement, two of whose homes were targeted, as saying, “Given the type of shells that were fired, the damage to the two houses in the kibbutz was relatively minor, only a broken window and damage to the exterior walls. If the shells had been filled with explosives and not hollow, it would have been "The damage is much greater and could have killed or injured people."

Another shooting incident by the Israeli army led to the destruction of a building last January, when a hollow shell hit the Sderot municipality building, causing minor damage to it.

Haaretz referred to 3 other incidents documented by a military investigation, one of which related to an Israeli tank firing at an observation point “inside Israeli territory,” and another related to firing from a machine gun mounted on a tank toward “Israeli territory,” which led to sirens sounding in kibbutzim. Ein Hashlosha, Nirim, and Nir Oz, and a tank shell exploded in an open area in Moshav Ein Habsor, near the southern part of the Gaza border.

The newspaper said that the Israeli army responded to the report it published with a statement that said, “During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, there were a limited number of cases of friendly fire leaking from the battlefield into Israeli territory.”

The occupation army statement stated that an investigation is underway into each incident separately, and that “the human losses are unknown, but the damage to property is known.”

Source: Anadolu Agency