Israeli Military Officer Charged With Receiving Illegal Benefits

There have been several cases of officers from the unit, which oversees civilian issues in the occupied territories, being charged with bribe-taking.

An illustrative image of a handcuffed soldier.
Tal Cohen

An officer in the Israel Defense Forces' Civil Administration, which oversees civilian affairs in the occupied territories, has been charged with illegally benefitting from his office.

The indictment filed against the officer in the Jaffa military court about two weeks ago charges him with several counts of receiving illegal favors. Portions of the indictment were approved for publication on Monday, though the case is still under a gag order.

The case is being investigated by the IDF's military police, According to army sources, the officer's superiors had previously tried to dismiss him for what were described as "ethical failures," but were overruled.

The officer was arrested when the case was exposed and is currently in detention. Had he not been indicted, he would have been eligible for retirement next year.

It is not the first case of a civil administration officer being charged with bribery and corruption. Maj. Yosef Yazid, who also served in the civil administration, was sentenced to five years imprisonment, a 30,000 shekel fine and demotion in rank about two weeks ago for taking some four million shekels in bribes.

Yazid, who provided permits to Palestinians in return for bribes and illegally employed workers in his home, was found guilty of taking bribes, deviating from his authority to the extent that he endangered the security of the state and assisting illegal entry into Israel.

Another officer from the unit, Col. Yair Blumenthal, was accused of taking bribes in return for providing classified documents to building contractors in 2008. He was convicted in a plea bargain three years ago.