Israeli army whistleblower gets 4 1/2 years

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2011 5:37 AM
Israeli army whistleblower gets 4 1/2 years

A former Israeli soldier who admitted to relaying classified military documents to a newspaper reporter was sentenced on Sunday to 4 1/2 years in prison on espionage charges, according to a ruling from an Israeli court.

Anat Kamm has said she was ideologically motivated to copy more than 2,000 military documents from army computers between 2005 and 2007, when she served as a junior clerk in the office of the Israeli commander responsible for the West Bank. Some 700 were classified.

After her discharge, Kamm passed on the documents, which included operational plans, personnel lists and lists of targets, to a journalist for the left-leaning Haaretz daily, Uri Blau.

Blau published some of the information in investigative articles, including one about the military's targeted killings of Palestinian militants. All of his stories were approved by Israel's military censor before they were published, but the information contained within them led to a search for his source.

Kamm was arrested in December 2009, though her detention was made public only four months later. She has remained under house arrest throughout the proceedings against her.

According to earlier court documents, Kamm had told investigators she wanted to disclose certain Israeli military operations against West Bank militants to provide the public with evidence of "war crimes."

In February, Kamm signed a plea bargain agreement admitting to espionage and passing on classified information without authorization. An initial charge of endangering national security was dropped under the deal.