IDF jails officer who led rogue W. Bank operation

Lt. Yaakov Gigi stripped of his rank and sentenced to 15 months in prison, six more on probation.

IDF 224 (photo credit: AP [file])
IDF 224
(photo credit: AP [file])
The IDF on Wednesday jailed an army officer for 15 months and stripped him of his rank, for leading a rogue operation in a West Bank village last year, in which a Palestinian civilian was shot and wounded, it said in a statement. A court martial convicted Lt. Yaakov Gigi for "initiating an unauthorized undercover operation" last July in the southern West Bank village of Dahariya, the statement said, adding that in addition to the prison sentence, Gigi was demoted to private and given six months probation at the conclusion of his jail term. It said that in the Dahariya incident, Gigi and five of his men commandeered a local taxi, tied up its driver and drove through the village, where they shot an unarmed Palestinian who aroused their suspicion. Military police said at the time that the squad left the seriously wounded man on the ground without helping him. He was treated at a local Palestinian clinic and later transferred to an Israeli hospital. Wednesday's statement said that not only had Gigi endangered his soldiers and civilian bystanders, but he also then attempted a cover-up. "After the incident the defendant lied to his commanders and persuaded his soldiers to lie during the investigation," it said. It is not common for the military to press charges against troops in cases involving Palestinians, but the army moved swiftly in the Dahariya case. The day after the incident it suspended Gigi and his men and froze all operations for their unit. Two weeks later he was charged. The statement did not say if Gigi's soldiers were also facing court proceedings.