Family and friends of the IDF intelligence officer who died while in military prison a month ago have visited the soldier’s gravesite, at the conclusion of the shloshim mourning period.
The soldier’s father told those gathered of his “attempts to piece together the puzzle and find out exactly what happened to you – a talented and ambitious soldier who found himself mercilessly crushed by the military system.
“Our son was murdered,” he continued, “murdered indirectly, and even now they are continuing to blacken his reputation with all kinds of sensational leaks. He is no longer here to provide explanations for why he did what he did, and the traces he left behind of completely uncharacteristic negligence in his work,” the father added, the distress evident in his voice.
“We are also angry that we weren’t informed, before your death, of two medical events that you suffered while in prison – we’re angry that we continued to sleep peacefully at night during that time,” he said.
Also present at the gathering was an officer of the rank of brigadier-general who is attached to the technology branch of military intelligence, as well as the division’s casualty officer.
Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi made several comments related to the death of the soldier while in prison, saying, “This intelligence officer committed serious offences, knowingly and with intent, but he is still considered one of our soldiers. He was in contact with his family and with others while he was in prison, and everything we did stemmed from a desire to protect his privacy and the privacy of his family – as well as a desire to protect the confidential information he was on the verge of revealing, which we managed to prevent at the very last minute.”
Kochavi added that, “I am greatly pained at what has occurred, and he should not have died in prison. Therefore, the incident will be investigated in depth, and we will do everything we can to ensure that the confidential information is not revealed.”
The soldier’s family chose to issue their response to the Chief of Staff’s words via their attorney, Benny Koznitz: “With all due respect to the Chief of Staff, the IDF failed in its duty to protect the life of this soldier while in military prison and under observation. The family demands a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident in order to identify the specific failings and address them.”