Sense of Deception



Israel arrests soldier and gags media in militant assassination cover-up

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James Hider in Jerusalem

srael has placed one of its former soldiers under house arrest for allegedly leaking details of a controversial policy to kill wanted Palestinian militants, and has slapped a gag order on the national media to prevent it covering the development, according to sources both in the Jewish state and abroad.

The moves are being challenged by the media in a country that prides itself on its freedom of speech. An appeal is expected to be lodged this month by a television news channel and by the centre-left newspaper Haaretz, while the mass-market daily Maariv satirised both the gag and the lack of media defiance by declaring: “Due to a gag order we cannot tell you what we know. Due to laziness, apathy and blind faith in the defence establishment we know nothing at all.”

The case centres on a 23-year-old ex-soldier, Anat Kam, who was arrested in December after finishing her national service, which is compulsory in Israel.

She is reportedly charged with having copied classified documents that showed that Israeli troops had broken their own rules of engagement by killing three Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Six months earlier an Israeli court had all but banned the practice of so-called targeting killings, permitting them only in cases where the wanted suspects could not be safely arrested.

srael has placed one of its former soldiers under house arrest for allegedly leaking details of a controversial policy to kill wanted Palestinian militants, and has slapped a gag order on the national media to prevent it covering the development, according to sources both in the Jewish state and abroad.

The moves are being challenged by the media in a country that prides itself on its freedom of speech. An appeal is expected to be lodged this month by a television news channel and by the centre-left newspaper Haaretz, while the mass-market daily Maariv satirised both the gag and the lack of media defiance by declaring: “Due to a gag order we cannot tell you what we know. Due to laziness, apathy and blind faith in the defence establishment we know nothing at all.”

The case centres on a 23-year-old ex-soldier, Anat Kam, who was arrested in December after finishing her national service, which is compulsory in Israel.

She is reportedly charged with having copied classified documents that showed that Israeli troops had broken their own rules of engagement by killing three Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Six months earlier an Israeli court had all but banned the practice of so-called targeting killings, permitting them only in cases where the wanted suspects could not be safely arrested.

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