Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Israeli military 'unfriends' soldier after Facebook leak

Facebook poster
An IDF poster warns against loose talk on social networking sites

The Israeli military cancelled a planned raid on a Palestinian village after one of its soldiers posted details of the operation on Facebook.

The unnamed soldier revealed the time and place of the raid and the name of his unit on the social networking site.

He said on his status update that his unit planned a "clean up" raid.

The soldier was court-martialled and sentenced to 10 days in prison. He was also ousted from his battalion and relieved of combat duties.

"On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, God willing, we come home," the soldier wrote on his Facebook page. Qatanah is a village in the West Bank near Ramallah.

His Facebook friends and fellow soldiers reported the post to the authorities.

The decision to cancel the raid was made by commanders after it was feared the leak would put the unit in danger. The operation went ahead several days later.

A statement from the military released after the leak said, "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.


Prior to the leak, the Israeli military had launched a full-scale campaign warning of the hazards of sharing military information online.

In military bases, posters show a mock Facebook page with images of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Below their pictures and a Facebook friend request, the slogan reads, "You think that everyone is your friend?"

Israel says arrest raids in the West Bank are aimed at detaining people suspected of planning attacks in Israel. Palestinian Authority officials criticise the raids as hampering efforts to enforce law and order in the West Bank.

Reports on whether the targets of the raids are militants or civilians are often contradictory.

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Reuters UK Cosmopolitan Dubai was perfect spot for Hamas killing - 8 hrs ago
New Zealand Herald Israel raid called off after soldier's Facebook slip - 12 hrs ago
Telegraph Israeli raid details on Facebook - 28 hrs ago
MSNBC via MSN Money Israeli raid called off after Facebook slip - 38 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Israel aborts raid after soldier posts details on Facebook - 41 hrs ago

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