An Israeli Shin Bet agent was killed yesterday by “security personnel” in a friendly fire incident along the Gaza fence near the Kerem Shalom border crossing. The victim’s name was Amir Maimoni. This much has been reported by Israeli media. But this Haaretz report says that the case is under a gag order.
After inquiring from an Israeli security source, I learned this: the Shabak was conducting a security operation in which a rakaz (Shabak officer who “runs” Palestinian spies) was to meet a Palestinian agent at the security fence separating Gaza from southern Israel. Besides the rakaz and the spy, there were two other agents disguised as Palestinians (in Israeli police jargon they would be called mistarvim) who were providing security for the meeting.
In some unspecified way, one of the security guards mistook Maimoni for a real Palestinian who posed a threat to those he was guarding. He opened fire, thus killing Maimoni. As you can imagine, this is a major fashlah which should never have happened. It also indicates dysfunction within the unit which conducted this operation. Israel’s spy agencies hate bad PR. So Shabak turned to the rubber stamp security court to secure a gag order suppressing the most important information about this incident. As a result, the incident will be handled, if at all, internally. And Shabak will face no political or external pressure to explain what happened and why.
Standard operating procedure in the national security state.
In a related matter, last week Israeli Border Police and an armed Israeli settler confronted an alleged Palestinian assailant attempting to stab an Israeli. In the ensuring fight one of the Israelis shot and killed one of the officers. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the armed settler. But we’ll never know since Israel will likely never report who was at fault in this incident.