Thieves Who Stole Sensitive Computers From Top IDF Official Nabbed


Police arrested a gang of six Arabs who were responsible for a series of break-ins and car thefts — and among their exploits was the theft of computers from the home of the former head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, General Chagai Topolanski; it was released for publication Monday. The Arabs are residents of Yerushalayim and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron. The gang members are to be indicted Monday.

In the December break-in of Topolanski’s home, the thieves stole several army computers containing sensitive information — leading him to resign his post. Thieves entered Topolanski’s house via an open window and stole the laptops and other items, including his daughter’s car. Topolanski was questioned under caution by police in the case. Police did not announce what the thieves did with the computers, but a source said that they were apparently unaware that the material on the machines was sensitive.

Topolanski resigned his post, after serving as head of the Manpower Directorate for two years. Previously, he had been commander of the Israel Air Force. The IDF said that his resignation was accepted “with a heavy heart, and in recognition of the extensive career he has had in the IDF.”

Praise poured in for Topolanski, with political leaders saying that he had taken full responsibility for the consequences of the theft — an uncommon phenomenon in modern times. In a statement, Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev said that Topolanski “displayed courage in his decision, just as he displayed courage in his previous role as a fighter pilot. He was an example of professionalism throughout his career, and set a very high standard for himself and others.”

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that he “regretted to hear about the resignation. Chagai has set a personal example for responsibility, even at a high personal cost. He is deserving of great appreciation.” MK Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Camp) said that Topolanski “demonstrated with his resignation the qualities of a soldier, a human being, and a personal example. This is the IDF at its best, and a role model for all Israelis.”