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IDF operation canceled due to Facebook status

Soldier updates his friends on social network that a force from his battalion scheduled to arrive in Palestinian village. Judea and Samaria Division commander decides to call off detention operation

Hanan Greenberg
Published: 03.03.10, 14:24 / Israel News

An Israel Defense Forces detention operation in the Binyamin region was called off recently, after a soldier updated his friends on the Facebook social network that a force from his battalion was expected to arrive in a Palestinian village.

 

The decision was made by Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brigadier-General Nitzan Alon, who feared that the leaked information may put the force in danger.

 

The operation was held several days later and deemed successful, while the soldier was judged and incarcerated.

 

The affair began when a soldier wrote in his Facebook status that the force was slated to arrive in the village and leave a day later. The Judea and Samaria Division's information security officer learned about the leak and informed the division's commander, who decided – in an unusual manner – to cancel the operation so as not to put the force at risk.

 

The soldier's commanders were informed of the incident as well and decided to put him on trial. Military officials noted that this was a serious incident which may have put the troops in danger had it not been revealed on time.

 

The IDF has been holding recently a wide-scale campaign explaining the potential damage in exposing classified information on the internet. In several incidents, soldiers and officers have been disciplined for violating these instructions.

 

Army officials admit there is a great difficulty monitoring these publications, but that preemptive activity and heavy punishments could significantly reduce the leaking of such information.

 

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