Family blames handler for suicide of son who informed on Jewish extremists


(JTA) — The family of a man who informed on Jewish extremists wants an investigation into why he committed suicide.

The father of the 20-year-old informer blames the man’s handler at the Israel Security Agency, who knew the informant was distraught but “did nothing.”

The informer, identified in the Israeli media only as A, hanged himself at the Havat Gilad West Bank outpost shortly after telling his handler at the Israel Security Agency that he would end his own life because his girlfriend had left him, Ynet reported Friday.

Haaretz reported that a lawyer for the family said the informer had been “exploited shamefully” by agents, who investigate “price-tag” violence by Jews who usually target Palestinians.

The man’s father told Ynet that people who knew his son at Havat Gilad also knew that his son had been working for the agency, which is known abroad as Shin Bet and is the Israeli counterpart of the FBI. The son’s cellular phone contained recordings of an hour-long talk he had had with his handler shortly before his time of death.

“He told him explicitly that he was devastated over the breakup and intends to take his own life,” the father said of the conversation. “The handler could have saved my son’s life but did nothing, it’s extremely hurtful.”

“I would like to commit suicide, I just don’t have the courage,” the informer says in the recording, which Ynet obtained. “I’ve had this rope around my neck for the past hour.” The handler told the man not to commit suicide. “Take that thing and throw it the hell out, I want you alive,” he is heard saying, according to Ynet. But the informer’s lifeless body was found the following morning.

The informer’s father called the call a “cry for help that went ignored.”

The handler could have contacted others at Havat Gilad, dispatched police or come himself, the father also said.

The Israel Security Agency told Ynet that it regretted the actions of the young man, whom the agency neither confirms nor denies was its informer. The agency’s statement also said that “agenda-driven parties are using the deceased’s death to attack the agency” to disrupt its work.

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