IDF Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ofer Winter was questioned Thursday in a probe over whether he helped cover up sexual-harassment allegations in his unit allegedly perpetrated by Lt.-Col. Liran Hajbi. It is unclear whether others in his unit also were under investigation.
Winter is of senior enough rank and the investigation has raised enough eyebrows that Chief IDF Spokesman Brigadier- General Moti Almoz posted a detailed update on the situation, including quotes from IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz promising to spare no effort in rooting out any alleged wrongdoing.
Hajbi is under investigation for alleged sexual harassment and indecent acts against two female soldiers, with his family and lawyer defending his on and off the battlefield conduct, and a rape victims association condemning his alleged problematic off the battlefield relations with some female soldiers.
Winter has been in the news several times, discussing his unit’s conduct in implementing the Hannibal Protocol during this summer’s Gaza war; as a key commander fighting in Gaza in general; and for publicly espousing controversial religious themes to his soldiers.