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See above a screenshot from the original 2008 Haaretz article.(Credit: Haaretz, screenshot)

Daily Israeli newspaper Haaretz journalist Uri Blau will be charged for “the possession of secret information by an unauthorised person,” for classified documents leaked to him by a former soldier, AFP reported Israel’s justice ministry said.

Blau reported in 2008 that “troops had been ordered to carry out targeted killings of Palestinian militants in violation of a Supreme Court order” based on the “1,800 documents” that Anat Kam had leaked.  This is his original report.

“These documents were held by Blau in his personal laptop computer, and in other places which he chose, without any means of control or protection,” the AFP reported the justice ministry said.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency noted that Blau won’t be “charged with the offense of espionage.”  According to Reporters without Borders, Blau “could face up to seven years’ imprisonment.”

In its own report on the charges, Haaretz called the charges “unfortunate and sets a precedent in terms of its ramifications on the freedom of press in Israel, and especially on the ability to cover the security apparatus.”

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As we wrote last year, Kam admitted to leaking the documents to Haaretz and “pleaded guilty.” “Kam was sentenced in October to four and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to leaking the documents,” according to the AFP.

The leaked documents included “plans for military operations, the minutes of internal discussions, details of the deployment of IDF forces, conclusions of internal investigations, situation assessments, target banks and more,” according to Haaretz.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Jerusalem Journalists Association was going to protest today. Reporters without Borders called the charges “a worrying sign for freedom of the press in Israel” and called for “the charges against Uri Blau to be dropped.”

We have written to Haaretz for comment and will update with any response.

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Haaretz Reporter to be Charged for Leaked Documents

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