Bar Lev reveals classified information about IDF soldier killed in Syria

The Public Security Minister mistakenly revealed the location of Sayeret Matkal commando Barak Sharabi's death in 1984 in an interview on KAN radio.

Sayeret Matkal commando St.-Sgt. Barak Sharabi, who died in a secret operation on December 18, 1984. (photo credit: IZKOR WEBSITE)
Sayeret Matkal commando St.-Sgt. Barak Sharabi, who died in a secret operation on December 18, 1984.
(photo credit: IZKOR WEBSITE)

General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal) commando St.-Sgt. Barak Sharabi died in 1984 “deep inside Syria.”

That fact, which had been classified, was revealed by Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev in an interview with KAN radio on Tuesday morning, ahead of Remembrance Day.

He made the comment while talking about the long list of friends and soldiers under his command who were killed in action.

Initial reports of Bar Lev’s slip circulating on Twitter were taken down by the army censor, but an hour after the interview, they were allowed back on social media and news sites.

Bar Lev was the commanding officer of Sayeret Matkal during the highly secretive 1984 operation in which Sharabi was killed and eight others were injured, according to KAN.

 PUBLIC SECURITY Minister Omer Bar Lev. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) PUBLIC SECURITY Minister Omer Bar Lev. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The planners of the operation included Bar Lev, defense minister Yitzhak Rabin, head of Military Intelligence Directorate Ehud Barak, and the commander in the field and eventual Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head and current Likud MK Avi Dichter, according to N12.

The operation was considered a strategic turning point in the unit’s history. It was so classified that for years no details of the operation were approved for public knowledge. Sayeret Matkal representatives sat in on every interview with Sharabi’s family in order to ensure that no secrets were divulged, N12 added.

Bar Lev’s office admitted that the 68-year-old minister had made a mistake and apologized, one of a number of notable gaffes in recent months.

The 68-year-old minister has made a number of notable gaffes in recent months.

At the funeral of one of the victims of the March 22 terrorist attack in Beersheba, Bar Lev pledged that security forces would find the perpetrator, who had in fact been killed immediately following the attack.

The next day he tried to make light of his mistake in a tweet that included a winking emoji, setting off another storm that led to his spokesperson’s resignation.