Understanding Technology

Is Israel hiding the biggest espionage story of the decade?

While the 2010s saw Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning lift a lid on global surveillance, there are new claims that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could be hiding the biggest espionage story of the decade so far. This comes amid claims that the IDF lied about espionage charges against a cyber-intelligence officer who died last month in a military prison cell.

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Is Israel hiding the biggest espionage story of the decade?
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Last month, cyber-intelligence officer Captain Tomer Eiges died in an Israeli military prison cell. Following the death of the AMAN intelligence officer, speculation has arisen over whether the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are trying to high the biggest espionage story of the decade.

Richard Silverstein's blog, the IDF may have lied about espionage charges filed against Eiges. This comes after Silverstein’s sources claimed charges were filed against the intelligence officer despite official claims that he was not charged with “espionage, treason or contact with an enemy agent.”

According to the blog, there is usually stringent censorship in place with cases such as this. However, in this instance, the military appeals court eased this to confirm Eiges had not been charged with anything relating to espionage.

A trusted source

Silverstein’s post claims the source he spoke with is a reliable and trusted one, so he could not understand why the claims from the IDF were in direct contradiction of those made by the source. However, he states that it is vital to keep in mind that this was a military prisoner. As such, all those involved with his case were military personnel, including both the prosecution and defense lawyers.

As a result of this, Eiges was the sole responsibility of the IDF. Everything from Eiges' treatment while imprisoned to his death was connected to the IDF. Eiges' death remains a mystery, as there has been no clarification concerning how he died. One source claimed that it was suicide, although members of his family deny this. One source close to the family said that despite an autopsy being carried out, the pathologist could not provide a cause of death.

The IDF has reportedly carried out an internal investigation, but no details have been released. This IDF's secrecy, coupled with the expertise and character of the deceased, has resulted in media pressure and unrest among the public. There is an outcry for the IDF to be more transparent and provide information, but whether or not this will happen remains to be seen.

Silverstein also said the IDF could be lying to the public and the media about the espionage charges to try and reduce this pressure.

Not necessarily a criminal

One other thing mentioned by Silverstein is that there could be another far more straightforward reason why Eiges was accused of espionage. Something such as the mishandling of top-secret documentation is labelled as espionage in Israel, as would be the discovery of disturbing information that Eiges' perhaps planned to blow the whistle on. This means that even if he was charged with espionage, this does not necessarily mean that he was a criminal or a traitor to his country.

However, unless the mounting pressure from the public and the media results in official records being released by the IDF, the speculation over what the truth is will continue.


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