IDF Judge Advocate-General Brig.-Gen. Avihai Mandelblit is reportedly paving the way for stripping Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was kidnapped by Hizbullah
and returned in a prisoner swap two years ago, of his colonel's rank.
According to YNET, Mandelblit is drafting a recommendation to demote Tannenbaum. His recommendation would then go to the president of the Military Court of Appeals, Maj.-Gen. Yishai Be'er. Be'er would then form a committee of senior officers who would rule on the matter.
Mandelblit is urging the demotion due to the criminal motives that led to Tannenbaum's abduction in 2000, YNET reported.
The IDF confirmed the report but had no additional comment.
In the past, former chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon
said the IDF would consider demoting Tannenbaum.
The bodies of three soldiers and Tannenbaum, who was an artillery officer, were returned to Israel
in January 2004 in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and senior Hizbullah members.
Former state comptroller Eliezer Goldberg
harshly chided the security establishment for not informing the IDF that Tannenbaum had access to classified military information. His abduction was also reportedly linked to a drug deal.
Upon his return after three years in a Lebanese prison, a controversial deal was made with him by which he would confess all the details of his abduction and tell of all the IDF secrets he revealed to Hizbullah. In return, he would not be put on trial.
YNET said that Mandelblit had decided recently to raise the issue of demotion.
The last time such a committee convened to determine a demotion was in the case of former defense minister Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai
, who was convicted of sexual misconduct. The committee ruled not to demote Mordechai.