IDF intelligence officer's family does not want his identity revealed

IDF sees no reason to hide identity from a security standpoint

An Israeli soldier walks next to a military vehicle at a mobile artillery unit location on the Israeli side by the Israel border with Gaza (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
An Israeli soldier walks next to a military vehicle at a mobile artillery unit location on the Israeli side by the Israel border with Gaza
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
The family of the intelligence officer who died in military prison last month has requested that his name and photo not be published, even though his picture and personal information have already been posted on social media and published by foreign websites.
His identity is currently being withheld at the family’s wishes.
The Israeli military sees no reason to not publish his identity from a security standpoint, but according to a report in Walla News, the family was furious at the announcement.
“This was contrary to all agreements,” said the family’s lawyer, Benny Kuznitz. “I saw what the IDF sent and we are considering steps against this.”
The officer was arrested in September, and was held behind bars for knowingly committing offenses that caused “severe damage to national security,” the IDF said.
The investigation of the officer, who served in a technological unit in the Intelligence Division, found that he had “consciously carried out a number of acts that severely harmed state security,” and that he had been  “aware of the potential damage to national security as a result of his actions and even tried to hide them.”
The military said that the officer “had cooperated in his interrogation and confessed to many of the acts alleged against him,” and that the investigation found that he had “acted independently, for personal motives, and not for ideological, nationalistic or economic motives.”
At the end of the investigation, he was indicted on charges alleging serious security offenses, the military said, adding that “weight was given to the significant damage caused by the alleged offenses.”
The IDF has stressed that his case is not similar to that of “Prisoner X” Ben Zygier, who was arrested in March 2010 and held under an alias in the secluded Wing 15 of the Ayalon Prison until he hanged himself in December of that year. Zygier’s identity was not released by Israel until three years later.
The officer was in touch with family and friends while imprisoned, and was held under his own name. He stayed in a cell with other cellmates and was not held in solitary confinement. He also received medical treatment and support from mental health professionals while behind bars.
According to a report by Haaretz, on the evening of his death, he told his cellmates that he was feeling sick and he then vomited. He collapsed and lost consciousness a short time later, and was taken in serious condition to Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, where he later died.
Channel 12 reported that he was found to have prescription medication in his possession when he collapsed. A partial toxicology result also found remnants of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics were found in his bloods.
While the officer’s identity remains hidden, he is said to have been an extremely gifted programmer who excelled at what he did.
A former colleague who works at a hi-tech company said he was one of the “main pillars” in the department where they worked, “both in his scope of knowledge and in the high level of execution that he delivers, be it complex problem-solving, innovative ideas, or simply his willingness to help.”
Another former colleague said that “he did things in hours where, for others, it would have taken days or weeks. He made computers look slow.”
On Wednesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said that while he had knowingly committed severe offenses, “he was one of my soldiers, one of our officers... he was a great officer.”
Speaking at an event in memory of former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at the Inter-Disciplinary Center Herzliya, Kohavi said that “everything we did was to maintain his privacy and the privacy of his family out of fair treatment. We wanted to take care of him. We wanted to take care of his family. And at the same time, keep the big secret that he almost compromised, but that we stopped at the last minute.”