In the wake of November’s Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip, several members of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit received their own security details.
The General Staff Security Unit decided to place guards around the house of the head of the the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Brig. Gen Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, to protect him and his family, Ynet reported on Tuesday. The decision to up security, unusual for the unit, came after Mordechai received threats. The special security detail was lifted after a few weeks; for now, police are conducting occasional patrols near his home.
Another soldier, Maj. Avichay Adraee, head of the army’s Arabic media desk, was assigned extra security after he received numerous death threats. Such threats are a normal occurrence, but they increased dramatically in frequency and tone after the Gaza conflict, and included the publication of more personal information about him. He was briefed several times over the past few weeks and was given special safety instructions regarding his daily routine.
Adraee was listed as “Wanted” on a Hamas website, for example. In recent weeks, harassment against him intensified via social media and pro-Palestinian sites. Edited images of him with a red swastika behind him, and Adolf Hitler in front of him, were circulated, as was a photo of him with a large, bloody bullet lodged in the center of his forehead.
Adraee, the IDF’s “face” to the Arab world, is very active on social media sites. He has over 47,000 followers on Twitter, many of them Arabic speakers, and he often appears on the al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya TV stations to explain the military’s policies.