Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Secret Trial in the "Only Democracy In the Middle East"

'Due to a gag order we cannot tell you what we know. Due to laziness, apathy and blind faith in the defense establishment we know nothing at all.' - Headline in Israeli Daily Maariv


According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Israel has been holding a journalist, Anat Kam, under secret house arrest since last December based on allegations that during her military service she leaked classified documents suggesting that the Israeli army violated laws dealing with targeted killings.

No Israeli newspaper or media outlet is allowed to report this, though apparently the Israeli daily Haaretz has gone to court to ask that the secrecy order be lifted. That too cannot be reported on in Israel.

This in the "only democracy in the Middle East."

The incident, about which the journalist is alleged to have leaked the documents, revolved around orders given by Israeli Gen. Yair Naveh, then the head if central command, that permitted open-fire procedures upon identification of any of three leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, even if it were not apparent that they posed a threat. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the chief of staff then and now, approved the targets, adding that troops were to withhold fire only if they were unable to identify "more than one" passenger in the targeted vehicle.

Both orders seemingly violate Israeli law which requires that militants be arrested, and that they can only be shot at if they resist arrest.

Read the JTA account here.

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