Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter, former commander of the Givati infantry brigade and currently Chief of Staff of Central Command, and one of the most prominent IDF Orthodox senior officers, was the target of a political assassination attempt by Israel’s Channel 10 reporter Raviv Drucker, according to Winter’s attorney Oded Savorai, who spoke to Army Radio Sunday.
Savorai accused Drucker – dubbed by Ynet “the thorn in Netanyahu’s side” over a series of insulting and embarrassing reports about the PM and his wife Sara – of trying to incriminate Brig. Gen. Ofer in a case involving the shooting death of an innocent Arab boy.
The entrapment attempt took place four years ago, according to Savorai, when Winter was commander of the IDF Northern Division, and a soldier carrying a concealed recording device came to his office and tried to get the commander to admit having ordered him to shoot the boy.
According to Savorai, the soldier told Winter, “I can’t sleep well nights, it comes back to me in my dreams.” Apparently, “he expected that Ofer would admit something that had never happened, or, more plausibly, that Ofer would ask him to whitewash the story, but Ofer did the opposite.”
Instead of trying to hide anything, the commander offered the soldier help and psychological care. “Ofer’s office manager immediately recognized something suspicious about the man who had just entered to see him, and dug into his smartphone which he had to leave behind,” Savorai related, suggesting she discovered suspicious signs showing he was deceitful.
Drucker posted a response in his Facebook page essentially confirming the story, but adding that the soldier in question had approached his program staff with complaints about Winter murdering the Arab child. Drucker insists that it was the soldier who insisted on meeting up with Winter to try and record him confessing to a crime that never happened.
Drucker accused Brig. Gen. Winter of sending his surrogate out to besmirch the reporter’s good name in advance of an Exposé on Winter being prepared by Drucker.
In July 2014, as commander of Givati in Operation Protective Edge, Winter caused a public debate on the place of the Jewish religion in he IDF when he issued a message to his troops that recalled biblical calls of historic Jewish commanders to their soldiers: “History has selected us to be at the forefront of the fight against the terrorist Gazan enemy, who curses and swears and blasphemes against the God of Israel […] I raise my eyes to heaven and recite with you, Sh’ma Israel, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad.”
“God, the Lord of Israel, please send us success in our path,” Winter continued, “for we are going to fight for Your nation Israel against the blaspheming enemy.”
Under Winter’s command, the Givati Brigade exposed dozens of terror tunnels and other Hamas infrastructure.