Two Israeli Intel Soldiers Accused of Exposing Secrets on Social Media

The investigation shows hostile parties were not behind the incident, nor were the accused motivated by financial gain, but rather sought to be the first to reveal top secret information

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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META logo on a laptop screen in Moscow, last year.
META logo on a laptop screen in Moscow, last year.Credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

State prosecutors filed an indictment Monday against a reserve soldier who served in the Israeli military's intelligence division and a teenager for publishing confidential material on social media.

According to the prosecution, "severe security damage was caused by the offenses committed by the accused."

The Lod District Court permitted that the case be partly published Monday. Israeli security forces arrested the two last month. The case also involves a soldier during mandatory service, who is suspected of providing classified information and publishing it. He will be prosecuted after a military court hearing.

According to a statement by the police, the Shin Bet security service and the Israeli military, an investigation was opened a few weeks ago after posts on social media contained classified information. After this, soldiers and civilians were questioned on suspicion of committing security offenses.

The two suspects were arrested on May 24, and have been in custody since with court approval.

The investigation shows hostile parties were not behind the incident, nor were the accused motivated by financial gain, but rather sought to be the first to reveal top secret information.

The reserve soldier is charged with offenses of obtaining, collecting, registering, holding and providing confidential information, according to the indictment.

The indictment against the teenager states that he received classified information from the reserve soldier and the soldier in mandatory service. The teen is accused of sharing the information with his acquaintances and publishing some of it on social media. The teen is charged with holding and providing confidential information.

State prosecutors are expected to request that the two remain in custody until the end of the legal proceedings against them.

The defense attorneys for the soldier in mandatory service, Ran Cohen Rochberger and Amir Gonman, said that the soldier in question is an "outstanding, professional and valued soldier who contributed greatly during his service."

"Even if he erred in his judgement, he did not, God forbid, intend to harm the army. At the hearing next week, we will present to the military prosecution significant evidence and claims regarding the soldier and the circumstances of his actions. We are convinced that as a result, the mitigating context of the incident will become clear," they said.

Following the affair, the military's intelligence division decided to establish an investigation team headed by a colonel, who will examine the process by which soldiers are picked to serve in classified units; the manner in which information is stored among soldiers serving there and in the army in general; and the conduct of soldiers on social networks.

In addition, the army decided to accompany those involved in the affair and their families, following a case a year ago in which an intelligence officer died while in custody at a military prison.

The families will be accompanied by security forces in order to protect them against such incidents and out of fear that they will speak with the media.

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