Family members of the intelligence officer who died in jail in circumstances that have been placed under a gag order are furious at how far the Israel Defense Forces has gone to hide the affair from both them and the public.
Most of the soldier’s public posts on social networks have been deleted from 2018 onward, they said.
“The anger is at the attempt to make someone who died in military jail vanish,” said a relative. “We don’t know anything. No one has explained to us what happened. All the IDF’s conduct seems like an attempt to hide their own failures. How could they try to erase a person like this?”
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On Thursday, the military court cleared for publication that the officer had not been convicted of offenses including espionage or treason, and was not in contact with a foreign agent. A gag order was placed on the nature of the officer’s offense, the details of the investigation and his identity.
The family members said the officer spoke to his parents on the eve of the Shavuot holiday, a few hours before his death. He didn’t sound distressed, and asked that on their next visit they bring him clothes, personal items and small luxuries for the remainder of his jail time. The family said that being transferred to the military’s new detention facility at Jail 4 had seemed to do the officer well, and he had been in a good mood.
Following the officer’s death, his body was sent for an autopsy. A pathologist representing the family and representatives of the army’s data security department were present.
The parents were told that they would not be recognized as the bereaved parents of a fallen soldier and that the officer would not be given a military burial. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that this is because the officer had been discharged while in jail.
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Before the funeral, several other officers from the deceased officer’s unit had asked to attend, but the family refused. No senior army officers have contacted them since then to discuss the circumstances of his death, they stated.