Gag Order Imposed on Theft of Weapon From IDF Soldier

The Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

A Be’er Sheva court on Wednesday issued a gag order on the publication of further details of the theft of the weapon of an IDF soldier on Sunday. Police requested the gag order after details of the case were already published in Israeli media. Three individuals, residents of Bedouin communities in the Negev, were arrested Monday night in connection with the case.

According to news reports that already appeared in the media, an IDF soldier was held up at gunpoint by the suspects Sunday night and was forced to give up a weapon he was carrying. The masked suspects stopped their vehicle at a bus stop in the Negev where the soldier was waiting, demanded the weapon and drove away. The background of the incident was unclear, and it appeared that police were hoping to prevent revelation of that detail with the gag order. According to the soldier, there were four people in the vehicle.

Police immediately fanned out after the incident, searching for the culprits, and utilizing a police helicopter to track down the vehicle, which the soldier identified. The vehicle itself was found a short time later, abandoned, near the Bedouin city of Rahat. Police told the court Wednesday that a gag order on further details of the case was necessary, as it was a “sensitive security or criminal matter.”