Israeli Artillery Commander Dismissed for Losing Classified Documents

The papers, since recovered, went missing when the colonel’s car was stolen.

Tomer Appelbaum

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot had sacked the Artillery Corps commander in the Northern Command, Col. Ilan Levy, after his car was stolen with a bag containing classified documents. 

Levy, who lost his post, was not discharged and will continue to serve in the military.

Levy’s military lawyer said the colonel had made the mistake due to overwork and implied Eisenkot’s decision was too harsh.

Levy’s car was stolen a week and a half ago and he was immediately suspended for 14 days. A week ago Tuesday the documents were found with the help of the Shin Bet security service.

Levy’s attorney, Col. Asher Halperin, said Levy “took classified information home with him at the order of his commander, in order to do his job. Due to cumulative fatigue stemming from his assignments in the Northern Command on the days before the incident, he unwittingly left the material in the driveway of his home. The car was stolen, but all the classified documents were located, so in effect there was no security damage.”

According to Halperin, “this case is not at all typical of Col. Levy’s conduct during his more than 25 years of service. We regret the decision that constitutes a serious blow to an outstanding officer who has devoted his entire adult life to Israel’s security, including as a brigade commander in the Second Lebanon War and as a commander during Operation Protective Edge."