IDF Officers Demoted After Probe of Soldier’s Drowning

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Major-General Hertzl Halevi, announced on Tuesday his decision to dismiss three officers from their posts in connection with the drowning of Cpl. Ilan Yankelevich, 19, who served in the elite IDF Intelligence Unit 8200.

The soldier, a resident of Netanya, drowned last July in a reservoir close to Kissufim. Yankelevich entered the water, but was only declared missing an hour later, after his friends failed to locate him.

Divers searched the area, located Yankelevich, and removed him from the water. Though MDA staff attempted to resuscitate him, in the end, they were forced to declare him dead.

An IDF spokesperson said the results of the inquiry attributed the death to drowning, but that the soldier’s superior officers had been derelict in their duty, failing to enforce routine safety precautions. Two lieutenants and a major were demoted, and their future army service will be under review.

The IDF has conveyed its regrets to the soldier’s family.

However, Halevi’s decision did not satisfy Yankelevich’s mother, who told Radio 90 FM that she wants to see them court-martialed.

“I want them to stand in front of a military judge, and receive appropriate punishment so that something like this will not happen again,” the mother said.

“It cannot be that they will continue their lives and raise their children as if nothing has happened,[whereas] I have been left alone.”