Israeli who joined fight against Hamas, indicted for impersonating soldier, stealing weapons

Jerusalem — An Israeli man who never served in the military was charged with impersonating a soldier and stealing weapons after sneaking into an army 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 Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack to join combat operations and steal large amounts of military gear, including weapons, munitions, and sensitive communications equipment.

Israeli media said he spent time fighting in Gaza and even appeared in a photo next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during one of his visits to soldiers in the field.

Yifrach went to southern Israel on Oct. 7 and presented himself alternately as a combat soldier from elite anti-terrorism units, a bomb dispersal expert, and a member of the Shin Bet internal security service, the indictment said.

Police arrested Yifrach on Dec. 17 and found large amounts of weapons, grenades, magazines, walkie-talkies, a drone, uniforms, and other military equipment in his possession.

Eitan Sabag, Yifrach’s lawyer, told Israel’s Channel 12 TV that Yifrach went down to the south to help as a paramedic with a first responder organization, and fought bravely to defend Israel for more than two months. “He was helping people and helping rescue people, all under fire, while also fighting against terrorists,” Sabag said.

Police also detained four other people, including a police officer, in connection with the weapons theft.

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Source: WT