The soldier's actions forced commanders to freeze all activity in his squadron until all other jets were examined.
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The incident took place two weeks ago, though the soldier was only arrested last week. Apparently furious with his superiors for overworking him, the soldier took his "revenge" by using a sharp object to destroy vital switches in a jet he was working on. But he did not stop there, and continued on to another fighter jet, and destroyed the same part in it as well.
The IAF treated the incident with great severity, as the damage to those jet parts could have endangered the lives of the pilots and jeopardized the squadron's operational missions. Each switch that was destroyed by the soldier is valued at thousands of dollars. The squadron and base commanders decided to immediately bring in military police investigators, who arrested the soldier.
The indictment against the soldier includes two counts of destruction of property and another offense, a more severe one, of overstepping authority to the extent of undermining state security.
According to the indictment, the soldier was conducting standardization checks on the F-16 jets, and during the examination a rod used for mechanical work fell from his hand into where the steering system is installed on one of the planes.
As a result, the "lock down" switch was damaged. The soldier attempted to align the switch back, but when he saw he could not do so, he snatched it and did not report to his superiors. "In doing so, the defendant believed he was causing damage to a substantial part of the plane that may lead to its crash," the MAG argues. Later on, he repeated the same action on another jet. In his military police investigation he said the acts were done deliberately.
The soldier's attorney Idan Dvir responded: "It is a case in which a normative soldier collapses under his superiors' demands. The offenses attributed to my client in the indictment do not fit the acts to which he pleaded."
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