Tuesday 8 June 2021 - 22:51

Death of Israeli Intelligence Officer Inside Military Prison Cloaked in Mystery

Story Code : 937054
Death of Israeli Intelligence Officer Inside Military Prison Cloaked in Mystery
Most of the officer’s public posts on social networks have been deleted from 2018 onward, his family members said.

“The anger is at the attempt to disappear a person who died in military prison,” Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz quoted a relative of the officer as saying without giving his name.

“We don’t know anything. To this day, no one has explained to us what happened,” the unnamed relative said.

He added, “The whole way that the army is behaving looks like an attempt to hide their failures. How can it be that they are trying to wipe out a person in this way?”

The Israeli officer, whose identity has not been released, was found in serious condition in his cell at the newly-opened Neve Tzedek prison on the night of May 16 and later pronounced dead in what Israeli military officials alleged was a suspected suicide.

Though an autopsy was performed, no official cause of death has yet been determined.

The officer was described by people who worked with him as a computer prodigy, beginning to work in programming as a teenager.

“[He] is one of the best engineers I have ever met. I had the privilege of recruiting him and being his ‘boss’ for 18 months, when he was only 17 years old. During that time he was INCREDIBLE! We managed to learn all the different aspects of our system and were able to improve most of them,” one former employer said.

Another described him as having much talent with computers.

“That feeling, of seeing a talent so extraordinary, is something we should consider ourselves lucky to witness, and I consider myself that kind of lucky,” he said. 

A relative of the officer has reportedly sent a strongly-worded letter to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, saying that the incident was “murder” and reminiscent of “the darkest regimes”.

“Even if the boy harmed himself despite the security and cameras in the prison, the president must know that things are happening that resemble the darkest regimes,” Israel’s Channel 12 news cited the letter as saying.

It added, “The trial was delayed, his liberty was taken away and the soldier fell from the highest high to the lowest low. We sent a healthy and brilliant boy, and what did we get back? This is a contemptible murder.”

The designers of Neve Tzedek prison, where the officer had been held, have told reporters that the facility was specifically constructed to make it difficult for inmates to commit suicide, with closed-circuit cameras throughout the structure and specially designed fittings to prevent people from being able to hang themselves.

Israeli military officials buried the officer in a civilian cemetery plot.

The Israeli army said the officer had been discharged from the army while in prison and was thus not eligible for a military funeral.