IDF soldiers at the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Memorial Day, May 1, 2017.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An IDF officer with the rank of major was convicted of negligent manslaughter and was given three months of military community service as well as a suspended sentence in a plea bargain over the death Cpl. Ilan Yankelevich, who drowned in a water reservoir in southern Israel last year.
According to a statement released by the IDF, it was recommended that the officer, who was convicted on the basis of his confession, not be promoted in rank for the next three years.
Three IDF officers from a classified Military Intelligence unit were indicted in March for the death of 19-year-old Yankelevich, from Netanya.
He drowned in a water reservoir near Kibbutz Kissufim in the Eshkol Regional Council in July 2016 after going in with his force, both soldiers and officers.
After Yankelevich’s death and the near deaths of two others – all from the IDF’s intelligence branch, who were swimming with him in a reservoir in which swimming was prohibited – the IDF immediately launched an investigation led by Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevy.
In addition to the officer convicted on Monday, another officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel was convicted of negligence for his conduct during the activity. He was demoted in rank and was given a suspended sentence. The trial of another officer with the rank of lieutenant-colonel is still under way.
One of the officers who was charged was the commander who authorized the soldiers entering the reservoir, and the other was the one who planned it and participated in it. The third officer, who was not part of its planning, was accused of dereliction for taking part in the activity.
All three were dismissed from their posts following the incident.
According to the IDF statement, Yankelevich’s mother was updated on the details of the arrangement and expressed her agreement to the sentences.