Illustrative: An IDF intelligence officer

IDF keeps officer's arrest and death in custody under heavy censorship

Military prevents publication of name of soldier or charges against him following his arrest in September 2020, while court hearings were also held behind closed doors; family rejects army claim that he took his own life

Yoav Zitun |
Published: 06.02.21 , 15:23
The death of an Israeli Military Intelligence officer in custody last month has been heavily censored, with little permitted to be reported about the case.
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  • Ynet has appealed the decision to ban any reporting on the circumstances of the officer's arrest last September, the charges against him and the circumstances of his death.
    All of the details of the case are under heavy military censorship.
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    Illustration, IDF intelligence officer
    Illustration, IDF intelligence officer
    Illustrative: An IDF intelligence officer
    (Photo: Uri Bareket)
    Military officials say the officer's death, which occurred during the 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas last month, was being investigated as a suicide.
    His family, however, rejects the claims that he took his own life.
    The case is subject to two separate gag orders and the court proceedings that taken place over the past six months have been behind closed doors at the request of the IDF.
    After the officer died, the charges against him were dropped and sections of the gag orders were lifted.
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    A prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was held on charges kept under gaga order
    A prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was held on charges kept under gaga order
    A prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was held on charges kept under gag order
    (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
    The official version of events released by the IDF say the officer was arrested in September 2020.
    "After an investigation by the military police, the officer who served in the intelligence branch was indicted in military court and remanded into custody by order of the court. His case was referred for mediation," the IDF said in a statement.
    "On the night between May 16 and 17, 2021, the officer was found in serious medical condition in prison on a military base in the center of the country," the statement said.
    "He was taken for medical treatment at a hospital, where his death was confirmed. His family was notified," it said.
    "The IDF internal investigations unit launched an investigation in to the incident and the findings will be presented to the military prosecution.
    "The judicial deliberations in the officer's case were conducted in closed-door sessions and a sweeping gag order was put in place that extends to the investigation into the officer's death," the IDF statement concludes.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A camera on the wall of the prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was claimed to have taken his life
    A camera on the wall of the prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was claimed to have taken his life
    A camera on the wall of the prison cell where an IDF intelligence officer was being held on unknown charges
    (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
    The Institute of Forensic Medicine has yet to release a statement regarding the cause of death and there are no final findings at this stage.
    The identity of the late officer also remains under gag order. Such heavy levels of concealment by the IDF are unusual for charges similar to those that the officer was facing.
    A senior military source said the suspicions leveled against the officer were not related to the 11 days of fighting in Gaza that ended on May 22.

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