Tel Aviv man indicted for impersonating officer, stealing weapons

Roi Yifrach even took selfies with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant when they visited the troops. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

A Tel Aviv resident was indicted on Sunday morning for impersonating an IDF soldier, a Shin Bet agent and a police officer and stealing military equipment, Ynet reports.

Roi Yifrach even took selfies with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant when they visited the troops.

The 35-year-old has a criminal record with five convictions for weapons, drugs, and sex offenses.

He entered military bases without supervision and even pretended to be a noncommissioned officer when IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi visited.

While he was being questioned by police, Yifrach insisted, “I only wanted to help the war effort.”‘

He assumed multiple false identities claiming to be an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) specialist and an operative in a counter-terrorism unit.

Given the information that he accessed while impersonating a soldier and an officer, the prosecution is seeking extended detention until the beginning of the trial.

From the outset of the war on October 7th until he was apprehended on December 17th, Yifrach stole grenades, cartridges, and bullets, military and police equipment and uniforms, a walkie-talkie, and a drone.

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At the time of his arrest, the equipment, weapons, and ammunition were found in Yifrach’s car, his apartment, and his mother’s home.

The full indictment against Yifrach includes the charges of theft of weapons and ammunition, aggravated fraud, and theft under special circumstances.

The indictment details the threat Yifrach’s behavior posed to the military and security services in a state of emergency.

It said, “During the state of emergency in Israel, the accused falsely presented himself as a soldier and held positions within security bodies and special units, with the intention of stealing a substantial quantity of weapons, ammunition, and equipment, thereby depleting the inventory of both the IDF and the police.”

Eitan Sabag, Yifrach’s attorney, responded, “My client, a paramedic, arrived in the Kfar Aza area on October 7. He bravely saved lives amid gunfire, putting his own life at risk and neutralizing terrorists with his licensed personal weapon.”

Sabag continued, “he joined a specialized military unit within Gaza, engaging in direct combat with Hamas terrorists, with the explicit approval of the IDF and utilizing combat equipment provided by them.”

“It is preposterous that the State of Israel, which failed to safeguard its citizens on October 7, is now holding accountable my client, who selflessly volunteered to do so in service of Israel.”

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Sabag concluded, “I intend to present all the allegations and evidence in court, demonstrating that the accused’s actions were performed within the circumstances shaped by the State of Israel, and not by my client.”