Jerusalem (AP) — An Israeli who never served in the army has been accused of posing as a soldier and stealing weapons after infiltrating a military unit and joining the fighting against Hamas.
According to an indictment filed Sunday, Roi Yifrach, 35, took advantage of the chaotic situation in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack to join combat operations and steal large quantities of military equipment, including weapons, ammunition and sensitive communications equipment.
Israeli media said he spent time fighting in Gaza and even appeared in a photo alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during one of his visits to soldiers on the ground.
Yifrach visited southern Israel on October 7 and presented himself alternately as a soldier fighting in elite counterterrorism units, a bomb dispersal expert, and a member of the Shin’s internal security service. Bet, according to the indictment.
Police arrested Yifrach on December 17 and found in his possession large quantities of weapons, grenades, magazines, walkie-talkies, a drone, uniforms and other military equipment.
Eitan Sabag, Yifrach’s lawyer, told Israel’s Channel 12 that Yifrach had traveled to the south to help as a paramedic with a first aid organization and fought courageously to defend Israel for more than two months. “He was helping and rescuing people, all under fire, while fighting terrorists,” Sabag said.
Police also arrested four other people, including a police officer, in connection with the gun theft.
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