Young Black-Hebrew Soldier Dies Mysteriously at Israeli Air Force Base Tikun-Olam Tikun Olam-תיקון עולם

Young Black-Hebrew Soldier Dies Mysteriously at Israeli Air Force Base

hebrew-sisterOn February 21st, the Radcliffes, a family of Black-Hebrews living in Dimona received a dreaded 3AM knock on their door. IDF officers had come to tell them that their 19 year-old daughter, Toveet, who’d been serving in an intelligence unit of the Israeli Air Force at the Palmachim air base, had been shot and killed three hours earlier. The first version told to the family was that she’d died in her bedroom at the base.The army told them it would return later that morning with further news.

The first version told to the family was that shed died in her bedroom at the base.The army told them it would return later that morning with further news. In that second visit, which happened at 1PM, four hours later than the army had promised, the overall commander of the air base, Brig. I consulted with a former IDF officer whose familiar with cases in which soldiers either died or committed suicide.

Toveet was in the final year of her IDF service, scheduled to be released this coming summer. Until a few weeks ago, she’d been serving in a different base. She was then transferred to Palmachim against her will. She was given leave before assuming her new position and returned home, where she told her mother she would not go. She refused for an entire week. Finally, her mother persuaded her to report to Palmachim. Within ten days, she would be dead.

Anyone who has reviewed suicide statistics and profiles of victims knows that very few women kill themselves with firearms and even fewer do so by shooting themselves in the face. Not to mention, how and why does someone intending to kill themselves shoot themselves twice! Also, Toveet was around 5 feet 2 inches tall. Given the length of the barrel of her gun and relative shortness her own arms, it would be almost impossible for her to shoot herself in the head.

When the Radcliffe family asked whether any other soldier accompanied her on duty, they said no. Toveet herself had told her mother that women doing guard duty at night must be accompanied by a second soldier. They may not work alone. When the family asked if there was any surveillance footage of the area where she died, they were told there wasn’t.  The IDF tells them Toveet was patrolling a top-secret portion of the base which did not have video surveillance? Is that credible?

The army said that Toveet’s body wa sdiscovered at the end of her 10PM-12 midnight shift. Only 47 minutes later, someone posted a notice to Rotter about her death! How does that happen? Some IDF ghoul tells a gossip site a girl’s been murdered and her own family doesn’t find out until three hours later?! It’s obscene. To make matters worst, the official reported cause of death was 2 shots to the head from a M16 assault rifle.

How do you shoot yourself twice in the head with a rifle?!

There is a strong suspicion is that Toveet was murdered.  Given that a number of IDF commanders in the past few months have been cashiered for sexual abuse and the fact that sexual violence is common in the IDF, my hunch is that she was murdered by someone at the base.  The IDF seems to be moving heaven and earth to cover-up the real cause of her death, which indicates to me that if she was killed it was by a superior officer.  If a low-ranking soldier had done this, the IDF would not go to the extraordinary lengths it has.

UPDATE: Carmela Menashe, Israeli TV military correspondent, just told me that this incident is under investigation by the military police.  This is more than the family has been told until now.  But at least it’s something.  Given the history of the military police and prosecutor this doesn’t guarantee justice will be done.  But at least there’s that possibility now.

UPDATE II: For Hebrew speakers, Channel 2 posted this to its Facebook account and then removed it.  It appears that either the IDF military censor removed it or there is a gag order preventing publication.  What’s interesting about this post is that it’s written from the perspective of a female IDF officer.  I wish I knew who was the author.  Maybe someone out there knows?



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