Corruption Suspected at IDF Border Fence Project

Military Police investigated suspicions that officers in the unit gave contracts to outside companies they will personally tied to.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Netanyahu touring the Jordan border fence, February 2016.
Netanyahu touring the Jordan border fence, February 2016.Credit: Mark Israel Salem
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Israel Defense Forces administration that oversees construction and upgrades of the country’s border fences has been investigated on suspicion of awarding tenders to companies with which its officers were personally connected.

The Military Police wrapped up the year-long and submitted recommendations to the military prosecutors. According to the Ynet website, which broke the story on Sunday, eight IDF officers were questioned in the case, and one, a lieutenant colonel, will likely undergo a disciplinary procedure for allegedly making sure that a company owned by relatives got part of the work.

A military source said the other officers are not likely to be prosecuted.

According to the source, the officer who provided the information that spurred the investigation was relieved of his duties in the administration, but was reassigned to the Weapons Research and Development Administration, where he began working on Sunday.

This officer’s associates claim that the IDF treated him improperly as a whistleblower, but the army argues that the officer, with the rank of major, revealed the information vindictively and undermined the unit in which he served, to the extent that his commander ordered him not to report for work lest he cause more damage.

The IDF Spokesman said, “The IDF seriously examines every claim of ethical impropriety. Upon receiving a complaint that raised suspicions about the conduct of the [Administration], a Military Police investigation was launched. With its completion, its findings were given to the military prosecution, and over the next few weeks decisions will be made about them.”