IDF Colonel Suspended After Classified Documents, Phone Stolen From His Car

The incident follows the resignation of the head of the IDF personnel division after his army computer was stolen from his home.

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Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi
Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, in a 2012 photo, prior to his appointment as head of the IDF Northern Command.Credit: Alon Ron
Amos Harel
Amos Harel

The head of the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, suspended a colonel under his command on Thursday for a week after classified documents and an encrypted army cell phone were stolen from the colonel's car. Military police are investigating the circumstances of the theft.

In an unrelated incident last month, the head of the IDF's manpower directorate, Maj. Gen. Hagai Topolansky, resigned after his army laptop, which contained army documents perhaps as well as sensitive military information, was stolen from his home. Military regulations bar IDF personnel from leaving army laptops in a motor vehicle or even at home unless they are locked in a safe.

In prior cases in which laptops or files with classified documents have been stolen from soldiers, they have been dismissed from their positions. In the case of Topolansky, the IDF's personnel chief, whose job included oversight of the military police, he resigned of his own accord rather than waiting for the IDF chief of staff to take action.

Two months prior to Topolansky's resignation, an air force colonel was suspended after his laptop was stolen, and about a year ago, a Northern Command artillery corps commander, Ilan Levy, was dismissed from his position, but not from the army, after his car was stolen with military documents inside.

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