Griev­ing fam­ily sues ISA of­fi­cer for neg­li­gence in son’s sui­cide

In­former was on phone to han­dler shortly be­fore death

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • BY TA­MARA ZIEVE

The par­ents of a young man from the Ha­vat Gi­lad out­post are su­ing a Shin Bet (Is­rael Se­cu­rity Agency) of­fi­cer for hav­ing known and done noth­ing about their son’s in­ten­tion to com­mit sui­cide.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased Wed­nes­day by prominent far-right ac­tivist and lawyer Ita­mar Ben-Gvir, the young man, who was an in­former for the Shin Bet, had had sev­eral long phone con­ver­sa­tions with his han­dler, in­clud­ing a 50-minute con­ver­sa­tion shortly be­fore he hanged him­self, in which he dis­cussed his men­tal state with the of­fi­cer.

He told his han­dler about his un­re­quited love and the lat­ter tried to com­fort him. But ac­cord­ing to Ben-Gvir, the taped con­ver­sa­tion re­vealed that the man had told his han­dler that he had had a rope around his neck for the past quar­ter of an hour, to which the han­dler re­sponded, “Get rid of that thing, stop with this non­sense.”

Ben-Gvir sent a let­ter to At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Avichai Man­del­blit and State Pros­e­cu­tor Shai Nitzan de­mand­ing that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion be opened into the ac­tions of the Shin Bet of­fi­cer.

“In the cell­phone con­ver­sa­tions held on March 28, the de­ceased told the Shin Bet of­fi­cer at length that he had arrived at his home but de­tailed his frus­tra­tion and hard­ships, and then re­peat­edly de­scribed the world as a bad place that he had no de­sire to live in any­more and that he wanted to die,” the let­ter said. Ben-Gvir said that while the record­ing shows that the of­fi­cer tried to com­fort the young man, he did not call the po­lice, the se­cu­rity ser­vices or the res­cue ser­vices.

When the in­former told his han­dler that he had sent a mes­sage to his girl­friend in which he wrote to her for the last time that he loved her and that she shouldn’t forget that, Ben-Gvir said that the of­fi­cer merely re­sponded, “We’ll talk in the morn­ing.”

“More­over, dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, the de­ceased ex­pressed many times his in­ten­tion to end his life and not to wake up the next morn­ing,” Ben-Gvir said.

“These state­ments were made ex­plic­itly and clearly, but this also left the Shin Bet man in­dif­fer­ent. The writ­ing was on the wall. A few min­utes later, the de­ceased put an end to his life by hang­ing... this is crim­i­nal neg­li­gence on the part of the Shin Bet of­fi­cer who, in­stead of in­volv­ing all the relevant au­thor­i­ties, did not see fit to do any­thing, and in fact his neg­li­gence caused the de­ceased’s death.”

Ben-Gvir in­tends to file, on be­half of the fam­ily, a NIS 3 mil­lion claim for crim­i­nal neg­li­gence against the of­fi­cer.

The Shin Bet re­sponded in a state­ment say­ing: “The Is­rael Se­cu­rity Agency does not dis­close in­for­ma­tion about its op­er­a­tives’ ac­tiv­i­ties and can­not con­firm the in­for­ma­tion pub­lished.”

“Of all the in­for­ma­tion in our possession, it ap­pears that the de­ceased de­cided to end his life for un­for­tu­nate per­sonal rea­sons. We share the sor­row of the fam­ily and re­gret that in­ter­ested par­ties are us­ing the death of the de­ceased to at­tack the agency as part of an at­tempt to harm the agency and its ac­tiv­i­ties,” the state­ment added.

“The Shin Bet will con­tinue to act to ful­fill its mis­sion for the se­cu­rity of the state.”

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