Anat Kam Accused of Espionage

Published: April 8th 2010
in News » Israel

Anat Kam
Pic: Channel 2 News

The gag order which prevented the Israeli media from reporting about the Anat Kam affair was lifted on Thursday and the local media outlets have begun reporting on the issue extensively.


It has now been revealed that Kam had stolen documents while she served as an IDF soldier in the office of Yair Naveh, then Central Command Chief. All in all she stole more than 2,000 documents, 700 of which were classified as secret or top secret. Allegedly, Kam subsequently leaked the documents to Haaretz newspaper. She is now being accused of a number of serious offences, including leaking secret information without authorization in an attempt to compromise the State's security and possession of classified information. These offences are considered espionage and are punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.


Haaretzreporter Uri Blau wrote a series of articles beginning in November 2008 discussing the assassinations of Palestinians by the IDF. Blau wrote that the army decided to ignore High Court rulings in regards to assassinations of Palestinians and that assassinations were carried out even in cases where wanted terror suspects could have been arrested.


Blau’s reports were allegedly based on the documents that Kam had leaked to him. An investigation revealed that Kam allegedly transferred all or some of the material she stole to Blau in September or October of 2008. Blau handed the Shin Bet some 50 documents that he had received from Kam but it is believed that Kam transferred all the stolen documents to him. As was reported earlier this week, Blau has since fled Israel to London.


Kam herself was indicted on January 14, following an investigation by the Shin Bet and the IDF, and was placed under house arrest pending trial.


Yoaz Yitzhak, Editor-in-Chief of News1, provided an analysis of the story in an article on the website. He pointed out that Kam originally tried to transfer the documents to Yediot Aharonot, but that did not go through. After she gave the information to Blau she got a job as a reporter for Walla!, a website which is owned by Haaretz, which can even be seen as a bribe.


Yitzhak also explained that Blau had an agreement with investigators under which he said that he had no additional documents in his possession, yet a search of his house found a diskette with more top secret documents. Blau, having understood that he would be suspected of obstruction of justice, fled the country.


Yitzhak added that the gag order continued to be imposed since Blau fled Israel and there was uncertainty whether all the documents were seized. There was also a concern that the documents might have gone into the wrong hands. Negotiations were held with Haaretz and Uri Blau regarding obtaining all the documents, yet both Haaretz and Blau demanded that Blau be immune from being arrested and/or prosecuted. Yitzhak explained that the negotiations failed and this is why the gag order was not removed sooner.


The attorney general's aide wrote on Thursday that the gag order which was lifted in Israel only today was maintained in order to allow officials to take possession of the stolen documents.


Related articles: (anat kam, uri blau, haaretz, espionage, leaked document)

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