Reports: Security Officials ‘Furious’ With Liberman Over Capture Confusion

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Security officials quoted by Channel 20 and the 0404 news site on Monday slammed Avigdor Liberman, blaming him for the breach in protocol that led to widespread reports that the murderers of Rina Shnerb, Hy”d, had been caught. Had Liberman not initially sent out a social media post congratulating IDF soldiers on the capture, media outlets would not have reported the news, which, whether or not correct, is still officially under wraps.

“Liberman’s intentions are not clear,” the sources were quoted as saying. “What was he trying to achieve by reporting that the murderers had been caught? Since when is that his job? Liberman more than anyone needs to be sensitive to such issues, as he was Defense Minister and he knows what is entailed in these investigations. He knows better than anyone why there is a military censor.”

Liberman early Monday wrote in a social media post that the IDF had found the terrorists and arrested them, but erased the message a few minutes later. In the wake of that post, however, journalists from other media outlets contacted the military censor, who apparently confirmed the news. But the Shin Bet quashed the report, saying that it had not authorized release of the news, and any report to the otherwise was speculation.

The Military Censor later qualified that what it authorized was the fact that Liberman had posted the message, but that it was not confirming the news. Speaking to Kan News, Yamina Party head Ayelet Shaked said that she had been visiting the Shnerb family on a shivah call when the news broke, but it turned out that the reports were based on that misunderstanding.

The officials quoted in the report said that “the Shin Bet, the Military Censor, and the entire security establishment is furious over this. A post like Liberman’s can endanger the lives of fighters. This is just not done.”

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