How’s this for an oops story. A soldier on guard duty just roamed into IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi’s office, stole his credit card numbers, and gave them to an Israeli Arab he happened to own money to. While he was at it, he stole a souvenir pistol given to Ashkenazi as a gift by an American general.
The soldier in question had also stolen two M16 rifles in the past, one from a soldier who was attacked on guard duty in July, and it appears that he took up theft in order to pay for an apartment he moved into with his girlfriend.
Gaining access to the top IDF officer’s office and stealing his credit card so easily? This has the IDF breathing a rather sizeable sigh of relief that it was only a credit card, because the army can think of lots of people who would love to get in there and put a microphone under his desk, or even a bomb. That wouldn’t be so good.
Talk about something to starkly contrast with the image of Israel as a security mammoth, El Al guards stopping you at every security level for a flight, asking you weird questions about where you’re going and why, if you know Hebrew, what synagogue you go to and such. And suddenly some guy can just walk into the office of the IDF chief of staff, open up his drawer and swipe his credit card info and a souvenir Western pistol? Well, alright then, if you insist.
The soldiers standing guard in the hallway apparently did not have any intensive background checks before they were accepted to duty, something that will now quickly be changed. Locks have been changed. Well, that’ll make me sleep better tonight, knowing the locks are nice and fresh, and the guy in charge of the next big war has a new credit card.