IDF accidentally reveals the location of secret bases online

In an apparent operational security error, the IDF Home Front Command published the location of the secret IDF bases, Haaretz revealed on Tuesday.

According to HaaretzThe IDF Home Front Command uploaded a map of coronavirus testing facilities across the country, which included sites at Israel Defense Forces bases. This not only provided the location of the IDF bases, but also revealed previously secret military and air force intelligence bases. The map was created in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and made available to Israeli citizens, until it was removed after the newspaper alerted the army to the error.

The map was detailed enough to include boundaries and base names.

When Haaretz approached the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit for comment, the IDF admitted the mistake and said it was removed from the site and replaced with a version without the confidential information. Apparently, military officials did not map the locations of coronavirus testing sites at secret bases.

The IDF generally does not publish the locations or boundaries of its bases as a precaution that they may be the target of rocket fire. Haaretz indicated. Additionally, providing details of secret bases can create operational security concerns for soldiers at the base, as foreign intelligence services can use the additional information to attack them.

This is not the first time that there has been concern about the release of information on secret IDF bases. The Jerusalem Post previously reported two such cases. In 2012, Hezbollah used a drone to film IDF ballistic missile sites, airfields and military exercises before being intercepted by an IAF F-16I fighter jet. In 2016, the military banned the Pokemon Go phone app on bases. There were concerns that soldiers using the app would have their geographic location and camera access ready for hostile foreign actors, or that a similar malicious app could be created and used to fool soldiers.
The Home Front Command has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and other civil agencies to establish testing and vaccination networks to combat the coronavirus pandemic. This could explain why non-military personnel were involved in posting an IDF coronavirus map.

The command is an IDF unit dedicated to protecting civilians during war and various emergency situations. It maintains a search and rescue brigade for urgent disasters in Israel and abroad.

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