3 former IDF officers charged in case of drowned soldier
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3 former IDF officers charged in case of drowned soldier

Military prosecutor accuses 2 suspects of negligent manslaughter in drowing death of Ilan Yankilevich last July

Scene of the accidental drowning death of Ilan Yankilevich, near Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel, on July 27, 2016. (Screen capture: Channel 10)
Scene of the accidental drowning death of Ilan Yankilevich, near Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel, on July 27, 2016. (Screen capture: Channel 10)

The IDF Chief Military Prosecutor charged three former officers on Monday in a case involving the accidental drowning death of a soldier.

The charges stem from an incident last July in which Ilan Yankilevich, 19, drowned in a water reservoir near Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel. Yankilevich was a corporal in the IDF’s elite 8200 intelligence unit.

Two of the officers indicted Monday, a major and a second lieutenant, were charged with negligent manslaughter, as well as negligence. The third officer, a second lieutenant, was given a lesser charge of negligence, according to Hebrew media reports.

According to a report from Haaretz last July, Yankilevich was one of six soldiers — three men and three women — who were not on a military mission when they entered the reservoir wearing civilian clothing.

Yankilevich was declared dead at the scene by MDA paramedics after they failed to resuscitate him.

The three officers were dismissed from their positions in September, as recommended by an IDF investigation into the incident.

Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevy speaks at the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on March 1, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevy speaks at the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on March 1, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The investigation, which was ordered by IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy, found that Yankilevich died from swallowing water and drowning and that the fatality came against the backdrop of problems with command and with routine safety behavior.

Following the conclusion of the investigation, military police continued to look into the incident, leading to Monday’s indictment of the three officers.

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