Oddly Enough

Soldier jailed for stealing Israeli army chief's gun

Israeli soldiers stand beside military jeeps at Kibbutz Erez, just outside the northern Gaza Strip September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A soldier who stole the gun and credit card details of Israel’s military chief was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment Sunday, Israeli media reported.

In August, the military police said the soldier used his mobile phone to take pictures of a credit card belonging to Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and then gave them to weapons dealers, who used them to make purchases.

Lewis Maskota also admitted to stealing Ashkenazi’s gun from his office and selling it to criminals. He explained to the military court that he was caught up in debt and was under great financial pressure at the time, Israeli media said.

Maskota, demoted by the court from corporal to private, served occasionally as a security guard in Ashkenazi’s office. The affair raised questions in the media as to the level of security around Israel’s top general.

Writing by Maayan Lubell; editing by Andrew Roche