Radcliffe was found dead last week and her family wants answers. Initially they were told that the young soldier died in her bedroom at the base. However, the next day they were told that she shot herself twice in the face with her M-16 assault rifle. According to Israeli media, the IDF then began to question the family, implying that Radcliffe came from a troubled home. The family refuted this narrative and indicated that their daughter was well balanced and would not have considered suicide.
The Black Hebrew community was discriminated against for decades by an Israeli government that refused to recognize them either as Jews or as Israeli citizens now wants answers.
Here is the community statement:
We, the Hebrew community are struck by grief as a result of the tragic death of our daughter, Toveet Radcliffe, the daughter of Yisrael z”l. The grief is even graver and more profound in light of the catastrophe at the military base, occuring during a time when we are not even in the midst of active military conflict. Toveet is the first soldier from the heart of our community killed during military service in the eleven years during which our children have been serving in the IDF.
Our hearts and prayers are with the family in this time of sorrow and we know our pain is understood and felt by many families in Israel who’ve lost their dear ones while serving the nation.
Toveet Radcliffe IDF memoral page
Our loss is made even more bitter in light of hard questions which still have not been answered. Among them:
1. We were told she [Toveet] was on guard duty in a secure military facility between the hours of 10PM-12 midnight.
2. They found her shot in the face, but never told us whether the shots were fired from her own gun or not.
3. They haven’t clarified whether she was shot once or twice.
4. It is quite strange that no one heard shots on the military base at that late hour at night.
5. Her body was found only after a soldier arrived to relieve her on guard duty. This is highly unusual in light of our understanding of military procedure in which a soldier doesn’t stand guard alone and especially a female soldier. When soldiers do guard duty they are monitored every quarter hour to confirm their safety. Apparently, this procedure was not observed in this case. Why?
6. It’s reasonable to assume that in a sensitive security area within a military base there would be a surveillance system, but we were told there were no such security cameras in the area. Very strange.
7. We were met with conflicting and inconsistent versions [of the events leading to Toveet’s death]. For example, in the original report we were told they found her lifeless in her bedroom but afterward we were told she shot herself while standing guard.
These are only a few of the basic questions to which we demand answers in the effort to comprehend this terrible tragedy. We urge the military investigators to perform their work honestly, faithfully and urgently. The family and the entire community are shrouded in sadness and wait for their conclusions.
We are certain the investigators are aware that our hearts are in their hands and that they treat them as is fitting and proper. At this stage, we will restrict our comments until we know what really happened.
Adiv Ben Yehuda
Yukin Ben Yisrael
Not content to cover-up Toveet’s death, the IDF has compounded the tragedy by noting in its online memorial page for Toveet that she’s male, rather than female. I guess when you make a big blunder you’ll make lots of smaller ones as well. You’d think having caused enough suffering to this family at least they could get this small matter right.