Family demands answers in mysterious death of soldier

Family demands answers in mysterious death of soldier

Daniel Weissman, 18, sent a text message to his father saying he had fallen and was refused medical care

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Daniel Weissman in a photo provided by the family. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Daniel Weissman in a photo provided by the family. (screen capture: Channel 2)

The family of a newly inducted Israel Defense Forces soldier, whose body was discovered outside a building at the Israeli Air Force base in Haifa early Tuesday morning, claimed Thursday that the army was covering up the details surrounding his death.

Private Daniel Weissman, 18, had sent a text message to his father Monday night before claiming that he had been injured and that his superiors refused to send him for medical treatment. “Dad, take me [home], I fell and they won’t take me to a clinic. I want a doctor,” the message read. At 5 a.m., his father attempted to call him and sent him numerous text messages, to no reply.

Weissman, from Beersheba, died two days after he entered the IDF.

The military is investigating the circumstances of his death, and has yet to determine the cause.

“An IDF soldier was found lifeless at an IDF base in northern Israel. His family has been notified. The military police have launched an investigation into the incident,” a statement from the IDF read.

In the interim, speculation about his death has sparked a number of different versions. Channel 10 reported Thursday that Weissman committed suicide by jumping off a building. However, Weissman’s aunt Natalia, a doctor who was one of the family members to identify the body, said that Weissman’s right arm was mangled with no signs of hematoma or swelling, which may indicate that he fell earlier and died of internal bleeding.

“It seems that the base commander is telling us [false] stories,” Natalia Weissman told Channel 2. “He was a happy boy with no problems, and I think the army is trying to cover up because they did not treat him appropriately and the commander had no answers. We didn’t even get a preliminary investigation.”

“They are telling us stories that do not make sense and we want to know conclusively what happened there,” his uncle Alexander added.

News of the soldier’s death came weeks after the IDF released a report stating that the number of military fatalities in 2013 — including by suicide, illness, and car accidents — had dramatically decreased in the past decade.

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