When the Israeli army decided to remove the last remaining Israeli soldier from the Gaza Strip, he was taken away in a military jeep.
The IDF later admitted to the journalist that it had mistaken the soldier for an Islamic State fighter and killed him.
While Israel is not known for being particularly careful with its spies, the recent arrests of several Israelis have prompted some to wonder whether the IDF is a spy organization.
The army’s official website does not disclose the names of the people who are being investigated.
However, Israeli security and intelligence sources have told Al Jazeera that some of the arrested individuals are in fact spies and that they are likely to be spies.
The first of these spies was Gilad Shalit, who was a top officer in the Israeli military in 2014 when the ceasefire was declared in Gaza.
Shalit was arrested in May and charged with spying for the Hamas-run Islamic Jihad organisation.
The army said he had leaked classified information to Hamas and had been plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Shahar Eshki, a senior member of the military intelligence branch, said the arrest was part of an Israeli policy to target spies.
He said the arrests had a dual purpose, adding that it was not only the military that wanted to find spies, but also political and security agencies.
“The goal is to create a state that is loyal to the security of Israel and its people, and that will be able to take the law into its own hands,” he said.
According to the army’s website, it is illegal to spy on the security forces and other government departments, but there are exceptions for cases such as the case of Eshkei, who is a member of a political party.
“It’s a very delicate matter.
You can be a spy and it doesn’t make any difference,” said Eshkiri.
Israel is not a member the US-led Anti-Spy Treaty.
The treaty stipulates that states must not use intelligence obtained from third parties to harm the sovereignty or territorial integrity of another state, or to interfere with or disrupt international relations.
However, some countries, including the US and Britain, have argued that it should be possible for the state to use intelligence gathered from third party sources in order to thwart attacks against Israel.
The Israeli army has not responded to a request for comment on the arrests.