Soldiers who sold classified information about IDF activity to smugglers
along the Sinai border received light prison sentences on Wednesday.
The Castina military court
has approved plea bargains for two soldiers belonging to the Gaza Division's southern brigade who were convicted of handing sensitive information over to civilian smugglers on the Egyptian border over the past year.
One of the soldiers, who served as a driver, was sentenced to 15 months in prison while the other, an armament technician, received a one-year sentence.
The two 19-year-old soldiers were part of a scheme that also involved 10 IDF scouters, most of whom were non-commissioned officers, who sold army data to smugglers for thousands of shekels. The troops and NCOs were apprehended last year. Wednesday's sentencing concluded the indictments in the case.
According to a revised indictment, the technician served as a contact for two smugglers, Yusuf Elul and Salam Abu Karwan, and provided them with classified information
on at least six instances. He also introduced his accomplice, the driver, to the smugglers.
The information, which included a detailed account of deployments, timetables and exact patrol and observation point locations, granted the smugglers on both sides of the border the opportunity to sneak in and out with goods, most likely narcotics, with great ease and without getting caught.
The technician, who was represented by Attorney Idan Dvir,
received a total of NIS 5,000 (about $1,300) for the information he leaked. The Military Prosecution claimed that the information transferred has or could have endangered the lives of soldiers in the field.
He was therefore charged for smuggling goods under aggravated circumstances and overstepping authority to the point of danger.
At first, the accused denied his involvement, but after the interrogators told him that his accomplice admitted to the crimes, he cracked, giving a detailed account of his misdeeds.
The IDF has said that this case constitutes criminal smuggling but noted that over the past two years, the smugglers have been using the same routes from Sinai
for terror-related activities, which compromised Israel's security.
Several other soldiers were convicted in thecase, including a career soldier
at the rank of sergeant-major who was demoted to private.
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