High-ranking IDF officer dismissed over leaks

High-ranking IDF officer dismissed over leaks

Military chief cancels promotion, boots lieutenant colonel accused of providing sensitive information to media

A view of IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A view of IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A high-ranking Israeli military official has been dismissed from his post and is being kicked out of the IDF after the army found that he committed a string of information security offenses over an extended period of time, the IDF said Friday.

According to the military report, the unnamed officer, a lieutenant colonel serving in a sensitive post, was discovered to have provided confidential information to unauthorized persons on several occasions.

The NRG website reported that the officer had leaked information to journalists.

In light of the findings, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot decided to remove the officer from his position. The man, who had been set for a promotion to colonel — now annulled — is to leave the service in the near future. However, the military will not open a criminal investigation into his actions.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

On Monday, in a separate incident, a soldier was indicted for espionage and disclosure of sensitive information, after he reportedly leaked classified military information to right-wing activists.

Due to the severity of the charge, the approval of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was required before the indictment.

Elad Yaakov Sela, 25, of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin, stands accused of handing over classified army intel regarding planned arrests of right-wing activists and army action against Palestinian terrorists. Three residents of Bat Ayin were also arrested in connection with the case earlier this week.

The Shin Bet said it had launched its investigation after a mosque in a Palestinian village near Bat Ayin was torched and vandalized on February 15. The army entered the settlement to arrest several right-wing activists suspected of involvement in the nationalistic attack, and were met with violence, prompting a soldier to fire into the air. The incident led investigators to believe the residents had received advance warning of the arrests.

Rahel Jaskow contributed to this report.

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