A 19-year-old Border Police officer was found dead Thursday night on his base in northern Israel and another soldier in his unit was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide.
Medical examiners initially thought Sergeant Naim Maadi from the Druze town of Julis took his own life in the Acre base, but further investigation led to the arrest of the 21-year-old soldier from the same unit, Channel 12 News reported.
The suspect reportedly claims he left his gun with Maadi when he went to shower and that he found him dead upon his return.
The arrested soldier is also suspected of obstructing legal proceedings and evidence tampering. His detention was extended by four days.
“The investigation is just beginning, we don’t know why they arrested my client,” a lawyer representing the suspect told Channel 12.
Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, the Druze spiritual leader in Israel said “we feel the pain of the family and our hearts are with them,” adding that Maadi came from “a normal family, that loved to serve in the Border Police, and was proud of it.”
A spokesperson for the police said, “Border Police officers share the grief of the family and bow their heads in memory of the soldier Naim.”
Maadi was reportedly an outstanding policeman during his mandatory service. He will be buried Friday in his hometown.