Uri Blau

Kam affair: Haaretz newspaper says Shin Bet backed out of agreement

Newspaper that published article allegedly based on classified material stolen from IDF backs its reporter, who is in London for fear of arrest

The Haaretz newspaper said Thursday that all reports by Uri Blau, who published articles based on classified documents apparently stolen by Anat Kam from the IDF, were sent to the military censor and were approved for publication.


The newspaper noted that an agreement had been reached between its representatives and the Shin Bet after the publications to return the documents to the organization. It said that Kam's arrest came after the agreement, and that following this the Shin Bet asked to question Blau too, which went against the agreement.


The newspaper expressed its "sadness" at the Shin Bet's sudden change of course, which resulted in pressure being applied to a journalist "fulfilling his duty".


One of Blau's articles, published in November 2008 Blau, discussed targeted assassinations of Palestinians by the Israel Defense Forces. The article said that the army had held discussions which revealed that the IDF ignored High Court rulings in regards to the assassinations, and that the assassinations were carried out following orders issued by the Northern Command, even in cases in which the wanted terror suspects could have been arrested.


According to the article, the army's senior ranks, including the chief of staff, approved hurting innocent people as part of targeted assassinations.


Blau is currently in London for fear that he too will be arrested.


In September 2009, following negotiations, Blau, through his attorney, handed the Shin Bet some 50 documents that he had received from Kam, as well as his computer, which was destroyed. However, the investigation revealed that Kam had copied and later transferred more than 2,000 documents to the Haaretz reporter, some of them highly classified.


Some of the documents detailed plans for past and future IDF operations, summaries of meetings between senior IDF officers, combat doctrines, Central Command defense plans, ways of dealing with a possible flare-up in the territories and information on the deployment of IDF forces.


Blau and his attorney maintained that the Haaretz reporter had handed the Shin Bet all of the documents that may jeopardize the activity of Israel's security forces, as the agreement stated.


Haaretz said that it granted the Shin Bet's request to hand over Blau's personal computer, which the newspaper says was later destroyed.


"Shortly thereafter Anat Kam was arrested on suspicion of being Blau's source. In January 2010 the Shin Bet told Blau's attorney that his client is wanted for interrogation. The attorney said the request goes against the agreement and that he's advising Blau not to comply. From this point on, the Shin Bet refused to live up to the terms of the agreement it had signed," the Haaretz statement read. 


פרסום ראשון: 04.08.10, 14:18
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