IDF general accused of hoarding equipment faces disciplinary charges

IDF general accused of hoarding equipment faces disciplinary charges

Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane resigned last year amid suspicions he improperly amassed weapons, other military gear

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane, IDF chief combat intelligence officer and head of the Border Defense Force. (Israel Defense Forces)
Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane, IDF chief combat intelligence officer and head of the Border Defense Force. (Israel Defense Forces)

An IDF brigadier general will face disciplinary, but not criminal, charges for hoarding large quantities of military equipment in violation of army rules, the army’s top lawyer announced on Thursday.

“During the investigation by the Military Police, it was discovered that the officer was in possession of vast quantities of military and civilian equipment against army policy and for an extended period of time,” the army said in a statement.

“In addition, the investigation found that the officer had behaved inappropriately in his interactions with civilian companies,” it said.

The officer, Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane, the IDF’s former chief combat intelligence officer and head of the army’s Border Defense Force, stepped down from his position over the affair last November, taking “full responsibility” for his misdeeds.

In his statement, Military Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek, said Kahane’s actions were considered even more problematic because of his high rank and experience.

“He is supposed to act as a personal example for fulfilling army orders meticulously,” Afek wrote.

However, Kahane’s decision to accept the blame and leave the military — along with the fact that the equipment was not used for personal reasons — were significant factors in the decision to only charge him with internal military disciplinary charges, rather than pursuing a criminal case.

The army did not announce a date for his disciplinary hearing.

In October, the Military Police questioned Kahane on suspicion that he had “for an extended period of time, received and possessed — improperly — military and civilian equipment,” the army said in a statement at the time.

He was suspected of amassing a vast collection of tactical equipment, including guns, weapons and scopes, as well as civilian gear. Among the weapons was an AK-47 assault rifle that, according to the Ynet news site, he had taken from a Hamas terrorist.

The illicit material was kept in a storage locker on Kahane’s base.

After his questioning, Kahane was suspended from his position and, two weeks later, asked IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for permission to step down.

During the meeting, Eisenkot said that “the officer’s actions do not represent proper conduct expected from an IDF officer. However, to his credit, [Kahane] has a meaningful past in the military, in a number of command and combat positions over the course of nearly 30 years of service.”

Last year, Kahane was named the head of the newly formed Border Defense Force, which brought together a number of units responsible for protecting the nation’s borders.

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