Second break-in at southern IDF base in a week

The successful robbery came despite the IDF and police having prior knowledge that an attempt was being planned.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

For the second time in a few days, security at a southern army base was foiled by unknown thieves, and this time military equipment was stolen, Channel 12 reported Wednesday evening.

Early this week, a sophisticated gang of burglars first used drones and model airplanes to gather intelligence on the goings on at the Natan base in Be’er Sheva. Their bird’s eye view also allowed them to scope out the best way to safely get in and out of their target area.

The thieves then used their airborne devices to hit the electricity network, plunging the base into darkness. They then infiltrated through a fence, and although they did not manage to get their hands on any weaponry, they successfully made off with certain unnamed military gear.

What is even more astonishing than the high tech means used, according to the report, is that the IDF and police had prior knowledge that an attempted robbery was being planned and yet could not prevent it from happening.

In reaction to the incident, the IDF spokesman said, “Following exceptional events in the area, the base’s level of alert was raised immediately, including increasing security and strengthening defensive objectives.”

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The broken fence was immediately blocked off, he added, and unnamed “technological means” were used in coordination with the Israeli police against “civilian aircraft in the base area.”

In an effort to reassure the public that the army is taking the incident seriously, the spokesman said,
“The IDF does and will continue to do everything necessary to keep its bases protected and will use all necessary means to prevent burglary and attempted theft of weapons.”

Yet this incident occurred uncomfortably close to another security failure this week, when on Monday night a Bedouin car thief managed to enter the Nevatim air force base to flee police pursuit and successfully evaded a manhunt to climb over three fences and escape.

Then, too, the IDF spokesman said, “The incident will be investigated and the necessary lessons will be learned from it.”

Burglaries from army bases have been going on for years, especially in the south, where Bedouin are the main culprits. In one of the most serious recent cases, thieves brought cars into the Tze’elim base in January and took off with 90,000 bullets from the armory.