Eli community
Eli communityHillel Meir/TPS

The Defense Ministry declared that Eli resident Yaron Gispin's death in 2009 was terrorism and not a suicide.

In 2009, Gispin was found dead in a deserted area near his hometown of Eli, where he lived with his wife and six children. Police had determined that his death was a suicide, noting that he was shot with his own pistol.

The decision to classify Gispin's death as a suicide distressed his wife Iris, who launched a protracted legal and battle to convince authorities that he had been killed. According to Iris, Gispin had not had any financial difficulties and did not display suicidal tendencies.

Last month, the long battle finally bore fruit, as the Defense Ministry conceded that Gispin had been murdered, noting that the body of Rabbi Moshe Talbi had been found close by after he was killed in 2011.

"The committee gives credence to the existence of terrorists who murdered Rabbi Talbi in close proximity to the deceased's death, using his personal weapon and leaving it at the murder site, which seems to be consistent (between the two incidents)" the decision stated.

The Defense Ministry also pointed to severe flaws in the police investigation of the murder. "The lack of evidentiary infrastructure (in the investigation of the murder) may have been due to investigative failures that the police also agree were present in this case, including failure to examine photographs that would indicate contact between the deceased's fingers and the pistol," wrote the ruling.

Iris Gispin said that the decision to recognize her husband's death as terrorism closed a long running and painful chapter for her. "I am glad that justice has finally been done. The injustice done to my family—which has been denied recognition and support by the state—and to the reputation of Yaron—which has been sullied—as well as the harm to the public’s security being that the killers were not hunted for nine years, has been corrected," she said.

“I find a small measure of comfort in that at least for the first time, this year, Yaron's name will appear on the list of those killed in hostilities, on Memorial Day.”