An intelligence officer who died in a military prison was buried in a civilian cemetery and will not be recognized as a soldier who died in the line of duty, Haaretz has learned.
The officer died two weeks ago, nine months after he was indicted in military court. The charge or charges against him were subject to a gag order, as was any other information that could be used to identify him by name.
Speaking to Haaretz, acquaintances of the officer, who served in the Israel Defense Forces intelligence branch, described him as an idealistic and brilliant man who succeeded in all the jobs and tasks he was given.
- Israeli intel officer, jailed for classified offenses, dies under circumstances barred from publication
“He was a man of values and ideals, and they guided him in his work and in his philosophy of life,” said one, “a person who really aspired to make things better. The officer was regarded as a genius in his field even when he was in high school and completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science.”
Before he was drafted into the army, he worked for high-tech companies where acquaintances described him as “one of the smartest and most talented people I have ever met,” “a person dedicated to work and a huge contributor” and “a real asset wherever he worked.” One described him as one of the best professionals he had ever encountered even when the man was age 17. “He could do in a few hours things that others would need days or weeks to complete. He made computers look slow the way he thought.”
One man who worked with him said about the deceased officer’s capabilities: “It wasn’t something you could learn – it was a natural talent. Once in a generation, you see someone with abilities like his. The joke was that he would alert our early-warning systems before the systems knew something was up. He was loved by everyone and had the best sense of humor.”
Other friends who had worked with him described a man always ready to help, who contributed a lot to the teams he belonged to. “He made himself available to friends – whatever was needed, even when it was impossible, he made it happen. It made no difference how unusual the problem was, he would perform magic and solve it,” said one of them. Another added: “It was a delight to work with him. He had immense knowledge and with his social skills he was able to help the team do much, much better.”
Others pointed to his analytical abilities and the speed with which he could solve problems. “He was fearless in the face of difficulties, he didn’t fear the most complicated problems,” one said. “He knew how to cope with things that people with a lot more experience than him had failed at. He would perform near miracles in a way that others couldn’t even fathom what happened.”
Haaretz and the Ynet news website have appealed to publish further details. Thus far, the military tribunal issued the following statement: “In September 2020, after an investigation by military police, an indictment was filed against an officer that served in the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Corps with the military court.
“The officer was arrested following a decision by the military court and the legal process on the matter had not been decided. On the night between May 16 and 17, 2021, the officer was found at a military detention facility in the center of the country in serious medical condition. The officer was transferred for medical treatment to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His family was notified.”
The statement added that “the army’s Internal Investigation Unit opened a probe into the circumstances of his death and upon its completion, its findings will be handed over to the military prosecutor for examination. Hearings in the officer’s case were held behind closed doors and a sweeping gag order was placed on them. An additional gag order was issued on the Internal Investigation Unit’s probe into the circumstances of his death.”