In a bizarre and highly irregular case, senior officers in an elite intelligence unit were harshly punished on Friday for ordering unnecessary missions by a Palestinian agent and later lying about it, the Israel Defense Forces said. The operations: buying tubs of tehina in the West Bank.
One lieutenant colonel was removed from his position and another was sentenced to 28 days in prison for ordering the missions. Other senior officers involved in the affair received official censure, but no other punishments.
Earlier this month, Channel 12 interviewed an officer from Military Intelligence Unit 504, responsible for cultivating and operating human assets in enemy countries, who revealed that on at least two occasions he had been ordered by his commanders to use one of his spies to purchase jars of the sesame seed paste as a gift for the IDF’s chief intelligence officer.
Quite right too. Unit 504, a unit feared by friend and foe alike, should concentrate on Hamas rather than hummus, and the Tanzim (a militant faction of Fatah) rather than tahina. By their arrogant actions, the hapless officers opened a jar of tsuris (Yiddish for trouble) for themselves. Open sesame, indeed.