IDF: Undercover agent was used to smuggle tahini

IDF disciplines commanders involved in undercover military operation - to deliver tahini.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Soldiers (illustrative)
Soldiers (illustrative)
Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi accepted the suggestion of Military Intelligence Directorate Tamir Heiman to investigate suspicions against several commanders in an intelligence unit.

The suspicions center around the conduction of unnecessary military operations.

In two of the instances, an Arab undercover agent was used in order to bring boxes of tahini from Judea and Samaria for purposes other than military operations. Those receiving the boxes did not know that a military operation was conducted for the purpose.

Kochavi emphasized that he sees these as "very serious" incidents and that they are in complete violation of the IDF's professional and moral code. He also emphasized that operational activities, which are at the heart of the IDF's actions, need to be seen as holy and conducted only for truly necessary security reasons.

During the investigation, large gaps were exposed in the supervision and approval system. The investigation also showed that a commander at the rank of lieutenant colonel initiated the activity, which was against orders, and did not tell the entire truth during the investigation. For these reasons, he was removed from his position and he will be discharged from the IDF.

Kochavi emphasized that "truthful and honest reporting are the foundation of the IDF, and are basic values which are expected of every soldier and commander. Any deviation from the basic values will receive a harsh and significant response."

Heiman emphasized that the operational activities in the Military Intelligence Directorate are the center of intelligence activities and all rules, without exception, must be followed. He also said that it is strictly forbidden to use operational resources for unworthy purposes.

In addition to the lieutenant colonel responsible for initiating the "tahini operation," another lieutenant colonal was tried for a overstepping his authority and will be incarcerated for a period of 28 days for ordering the operation, despite the fact that he knew it was unnecessary for the unit's activities.

The central intelligence chief was reprimanded for receiving the boxes of tahini, but not checking how they were brought to him or taking precautions to prevent such actions in the future. He did not initiate or preside over the activities, nor did he know that an operation was being conducted for this purpose. However, he paid for the boxes.

A colonel in the unit was reprimanded for his responsibility for his authority over the incidents, though he was not directly involved with him.

A major was reprimanded for his responsibility of authority, and the fact that he was a partner in the operational activities by neglecting to investigate the operation's purpose and whether it was necessary.

"This is a serious and unusual incident, but on the other hand, it does not prove anything regarding the quality of the unit, which consistently carries out more complex operations successfully, receives much praise, and over the last several years has received many honorable citations," the IDF said in a statement.