The Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: BENY SHLEVICH/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot accepted the resignation of Maj.-Gen Hagai Topolansky, head of the Israeli military’s manpower directorate, on Wednesday evening after it was revealed a laptop carrying sensitive information was stolen from his possession.
It was revealed on Wednesday that police had been called to Topolansky’s home in Be’er Tuvia in southern Israel early on Tuesday morning and details of the investigation were kept under gag order until Wednesday.
According to an IDF statement, Eisenkot noted that Topolansky was “a respected officer and fighter pilot, who gave his life for the security of the State of Israel.”
As the stolen computer is IDF property, military police launched an investigation and questioned Topolansky under caution where he explained what kind of information was on the computer.
According to IDF protocol, military officers are forbidden from leaving military computers in their homes or cars where they are at risk of being stolen, to prevent classified information from falling into the wrong hands. Military laptops containing classified material must be kept locked in the base's vault.
Maj.Gen Topolnsky is said to have told Eisenkot that he had been brought up to take responsibility his whole life, and hoped that his resignation would deliver the “right message” to public servants.
The head of the Manpower Directorate’s Planning Division, Brig.-Gen. Meirav Kirshner, will fill his role until a permanent replacement is found.
The IDF has in the past dismissed officers from their positions after their military laptops were stolen. A lieutenant colonel in the air force was suspended for two weeks in October after his computer was stolen, and last year Lt.Col. Ilan Levy, an artillery commander in the northern command was dismissed after his car was stolen with military documents inside. The documents were later found in the West Bank by the Shin Bet.