An Israeli air force report released this week on the non-combat death of one of its soldiers has not brought her family any closer to the closure it has sought for almost a year. The IAF report on the death of Dimona’s Toveet Radcliffe concluded that no other person was party to her death, with the implication being that Radcliffe must have taken her own life – a conclusion that her family and friends refuse to accept.
Radcliffe’s untimely death occurred while she was serving in a non-frontline role, operating Patriot missiles at the Palmachim Air Force Base on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, about half an hour south of Tel Aviv. As we reported here in the days that followed her death, Radcliffe was found dead with gunshot wounds in her head at midnight, between February 21 and 22.
According to the IDF report, Radcliffe’s body was found with no signs of life at the end of a four-hour shift in a guard booth at an entrance to the base. She was found seated on a chair, with the M-16 rifle assigned to her suspended from her neck, with the trigger in the “semi-automatic” position. The report states that one bullet was missing from the rifle’s cartridge, and that this bullet killed her, piercing her skull and lodging itself in the door of the booth.
The report also states that Radcliffe’s body showed no evidence of physical or sexual trauma, except for a number of bruises that the autopsy pathologist did not believe to be recent. As a result, it concluded: “Examination of the aggregate of evidence leads to the conclusion that there is no documented proof of the involvement of others in the death of the Deceased.”
Toveet’s mother Khydijah told the Hottest Place In Hell that she does not accept the results of the army investigation and that she has requested that the IDF provided her with not only its conclusions, but all of the materials from their investigation into Toveet’s death. While Khydijah is eligible to receive copies of these materials, the army has stated that they will only be provided for her in the original Hebrew, which she is not highly skilled at reading.
Khadijah now has two months to officially object to the conclusions of the Military Advocate General and ask the Government Attorney General to re-open the case.