Former defense minister Moshe Yaalon.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Defense Minister, Moshe Ya'alon said on Friday that the IDF has been instructed to open an investigation into the leak of classified information by released soldiers to the NGO Breaking the Silence.
The investigation has come at the heels of a story that broke on Thursday on Channel 2 that alleged that the left-wing NGO was gathering classified information on the IDF after obtaining undercover footage depicting activists asking soldiers questions pertaining to intelligence and operational activities.
"Following the article from Channel 2 on the activities of Breaking the Silence, I have directed the IDF to conduct an investigative inquiry into soldiers' release of classified information from their service in the army," Ya'alon wrote on Twitter.
The Military Advocate General, the Information Security Department and the Military Police will summon the soldiers to an investigation on Sunday. This came after Ya'alon instruction to cease IDF cooperation with Breaking the Silence.
Breaking the Silence is an Non Governmental Organization established by IDF veterans. The stated aim of the organization is to collect the testimonies of soldiers who have served in the West Bank and Gaza, detailing alleged "cases of abuse towards Palestinians" and documenting the conduct of IDF soldiers, according to the group's website.
The report revealed that in at least one instance where classified information was leaked to Breaking the Silence, the NGO had advised a member of their organization prior to as well as over the course of their military service. "I was familiar with the organization well before my [military] service," she said, "I was familiar with the organization's structure and how it functioned."
In response to the recent revelations, former head of the Israel Security Service (Shin Bet) Avi Dichter and the former Major-General of the Central Command Avi Mizrahi criticized the NGO's conduct. "The former soldier's quote regarding her retrieval of information during her military service is extremely serious." Mizrahi asserted, "If there were other similar instances, it is even more serious."