The IDF force that left one of its soldiers in the Palestinian village of Budrus near Ramallah Wednesday night belongs to the 188th Armored Brigade, where former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit served, Ynet has learned.
The soldier who lost contact with his fellow soldiers during activity in the village serves as the battalion commander’s signal operator and is considered his right-hand man during operational activity.
An investigation conducted by the Judea and Samaria Division indicates that the soldier was apparently ordered to secure an intersection in the village during activity against local stone-throwers.
The Palestinians claimed Budrus residents escorted the soldier out of the village, but army officials stressed that he refused to receive any assistance from Palestinians and was picked up by an IDF vehicle within a few minutes.
IDF soldiers are instructed thwart kidnapping attempts by all means necessary, including opening fire on would-be kidnappers.
The army has recently defined terror groups’ motivation to kidnap IDF soldiers as "unprecedented," this following the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the framework of the Shalit deal.
"The incident (in Budrus) was undoubtedly a severe operational failure," an officer from the Judea and Samaria Division told Ynet on Thursday. "The enemy is just waiting for an opportunity to kidnap a soldier – particularly on its home field."