Anat Kam was born in Jerusalem and raised in the city's Ramot neighborhood by her parents Yigal Kam, an insurance agent and Israel Defense Forces disabled veteran, and Ada Gersht, a social worker for the Social Affairs Ministry.
In school Kam was identified as an exceptional student, and once a week she attended an enrichment program at Jerusalem's Ofek School for gifted children. Her middle school and high school years were spent at the prestigious Leyada School near Hebrew University
"I was in complete shock when I heard she was linked to this story," said a childhood friend. "It was really strange - we've known each other since elementary school. I know her well and never expected this from her."
Kam, now 23, began her compulsory military service in a pilots' course that she ultimately did not complete. In July 2005, after finishing basic training, she was assigned to work as a secretary at GOC Central Command, then headed by Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh. In January of the following year she began an officers' course, but again did not finish.
On her return to the GOC Central Command, Kam was assigned as secretary to Naveh's bureau chief. It was in that post that she was exposed to the documents she is alleged to have appropriated and leaked.
"I met with her while she was still in the army, and I didn't notice anything unusual, I didn't see a soldier who looked fed up or bitter," said another childhood friend. "I asked her how things were going and she said her position was interesting. Anat is from a good home and went to good schools - she's a very smart and good-natured girl."
The friend recalled that Kam rarely displayed an unusual level of political involvement, and that "the attempt to attribute her with any political motives and link her to this matter is inaccurate."
In August 2008, after conscientious objector Sahar Vardi - who had also been Kam's classmate at Leyada - was sentenced to military prison, Kam wrote an article for the Web site Walla! under the headline "Conscientious objector, I'm ashamed of you." In it she wrote: "As a proud graduate of the school, who bit the bullet and served three full years, I'm ashamed that spoiled children like Sahar Vardi are giving a bad name to the institution, which educates students to think freely and independently - as Ms. Vardi believes she does - but also seeks to prepare students for lives as opinionated adults who contribute to the society in which they live."
Kam launched her journalistic career while still a high school student, when at 16 she began writing for the Jerusalem supplement of Yedioth Ahronoth on youth-oriented affairs, including education. A year later she started publishing articles on the Walla! site aimed at the teen demographic. In August 2007, following her release from the IDF, Kam began covering media-related issues for the site.
A former colleague at Walla! described Kam as "an assertive girl, the kind who gets what she wants." Kam, he added, "understands the grave situation she's in, but she's trying to maintain a normal routine in whatever way possible."
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