.חשיפה: האל”מ שהושעה בגלל עבירת ביטחון מידע חמורה הוא זכי יפת, קצין ההנדסה של פיקוד צפון
Ynet reports (Hebrew and English here) that a senior IDF commander was suspended for a week after his encrypted cell phone and other top-secret documents were stolen from his vehicle. The military censor prohibits reporting the name and position of the suspect. But I will do so: he is the chief engineering officer of the Northern Command, Col. Zecharia (Zaky) Yeffet. His photo also has been censored in Israel. But I display it here for all the Israelis who want to read and see what they should be entitled to, but can’t.
This is not the first such senior official to be so careless with highly secret government documents and electronic devices. I reported a few years ago that the CEO of the Israel Atomic Energy Agency had his work computer stolen not once, but twice. The last time due to a robbery of his home. Despite the fact that he recklessly conveyed government secrets to his private home and left them unsecured, he received little more than a slap on the wrist. Ynet reports that this is the fourth such incident since 2015 in which valuable IDF equipment, devices and classified documents were stolen from senior military officers.
With the suspension, Yeffet’s commanding officer, Gen. Aviv Kochavi is so far choosing a similar route to the previous case. Considering that Israel’s northern front is the most volatile and faces the greatest threat from hostile forces (Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria); and that the Islamist group constantly probes Israeli defenses and telecommunications for weaknesses and would doubtless love to get its hands on such an encrypted phone–this is a tepid response to a grave security breach. Ynet does note that Yeffet may lose command entirely or even be forced out of the IDF. That seems a more appropriate response.