The arrest of the five soldiers in the past few days was made possible by an agent of the military's criminal investigation division who had been working on the affair for many months.
The agent disguised himself as a normal soldier, who regularly arrived at the base in a luxury car, presented himself as one those who "is involved with drugs" and weapons, and apparently, through this front, gained the trust of the soldiers. This is how he incriminated them on several accounts.
A few days ago it was decided to come out with the investigation, which was undercover until now, and to arrest the five soldiers. From material presented thus far in court, it is estimated that some of the soldiers are suspected of selling weapons they stole from the unit in which they served and from other units.
Military sources familiar with the affair told Ynet that the charges made against the soldiers are severe. The affair is made even more severe by the fact that the soldiers involved were serving in combat positions in the Gaza Strip, where any such activities are particularly significant. This is why the criminal investigation division focused on these soldiers for so many long months in order to incriminate them and to put them on trial.
Looted picture of Arafat to use as dart board
In the meantime, in the military court of the Southern Command, the trial of four soldiers arrested a month ago for allegedly looting property during military operations at the Dahaniya airport was wrapped up. The four soldiers, serving in a teleprocessing battalion and in the communications company of the Givati brigade, were convicted for shameful behavior. Their sentence will be between 44 to 75 days imprisonment.
The four soldiers took a refrigerator from the airport. During the investigation of one of the soldiers, he also admitted to taking cups, two ashtrays in the shape candlesticks, and another item that even surprised the investigators – a picture of former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. When asked why, the soldier explained that he wanted to hang the picture in his unit so that he and his friends could use it as a dart board.
The judges, under the auspices of lieutenant colonel Orly Markman, wrote in their decision that the defendants didn't look to keep the stolen items for themselves, and that they could be returned to their proper place.
The positive service of the soldiers was also taken into account. It was noted that the incident was not a grave one, and that a plea bargain could be arranged in which the soldiers would not be convicted with criminal charges.