Israeli Soldier Arrested for Leaking Confidential Information to Right-wing Activists

In second such case in as many months, an unidentified soldier was recently questioned for passing along secret information.

Illustrative photo of IDF soldier under arrest.
Tal Cohen

An Israeli soldier was arrested and questioned by investigators sometime during the last few weeks, under suspicion of passing confidential information to right-wing activists. The case was cleared for publication on Thursday following the lifting of a gag order by a military court.

The court did not release any details that could be used to identify the soldier, including which unit he serves in, but it was said that the information he allegedly passed along harmed the operational activities of security forces in the area where he serves.

The newly released case against the soldier is the second such instance in as many months. In January, IDF soldier Elad Ya'akov Sela was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment after being convicted of leaking confidential information to right-wing activists who were suspected of committing acts of violence against Palestinians.

An indictment served against Sela alleged that he lacked authorization when he opened more than 15,000 classified documents in a computer system that Israeli security organizations use to share information. The system contains intelligence collected by the Shin Bet and the police.

Sela was convicted of searching the system in order "to find information regarding 'price tag' activists from the town of Bat Ayin where he lives and regarding the security forces' activities against them." An IDF military court ruled that Sela's actions harmed the security of the state and that the information he passed along helped right-wing suspects to prolong and thwart the activities of the security forces while continuing their actions against Palestinians.

Sela was initially charged with espionage, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A plea deal allowed Sela to be tried on a lighter charge.