IDF censoring death of officer accused of security crimes due to family’s request

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

The Israeli army and the family of an intelligence officer who died under unclear circumstances in military prison last month spar over the decision to continue to bar the publication of the serviceman’s name, with each claiming the other was responsible.

“The IDF Spokesperson forgot that we don’t live in the 1980s, and much in the way you can’t disappear a person you can’t brief journalists and publish irresponsible statements,” the family’s attorney, Benny Kuznitz, says in a statement.

“The contents of the statement are in violation of agreements with the prosecution that the security risks in publishing [the name] have not yet been considered by the Operations Directorate,” he says.

Kuznitz’s denunciation comes in response to claims by the military that the reason for the continued court-issued gag order on the officer’s identity, which has been widely shared on social media, is due to a request from his family, not from security concerns.

The officer was in prison at the time of his death as he was charged with severe national security offenses, the precise nature of which are also censored.

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