Facebook update by soldier leads to Israeli army cancelling raid
A Facebook status update led to the Israeli army cancelling a raid on a Palestinian village after a soldier posted the time and place of the attack and his unit name.
The unnamed soldier posted “On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, God willing, we come home,”
Qatanah is a village in the West Bank, under Palestinian control.
Israeli military commanders canceled the raid due to fears that the unit could be compromised, though the operation did occur a few days later.
The soldier was court-martialled, and was sentenced to 10 days in prison, and relieved of combat duties after his Facebook friends reported the post to authorities.
A statement from the military read “Uploading classified information to social networks or any website exposes the information to anyone who wishes to view it, including foreign and hostile intelligence services.”
“Hostile intelligence agents scan the internet with an eye toward collecting information on the IDF (Israel Defence Forces), which may undermine operational success and imperil IDF forces,” it added.
Facebook is becoming a security concern for Israeli forces, leading to a poster campaign warning of sharing any secrets online.
Plastered throughout military bases, the posters show a mock Facebook page featuring Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
It also features a slogan reading “You think that everyone is your friend?”
The raids by Israel in the West Bank have come under fire from Palestinian authorities, who say that they hamper efforts to enforce law and order.
Joe Crowther – 4th March, 2010