Israeli Right-wing Group Used Forged Documents to Tarnish Leftist Activists

Documents released by right-wing Ad Kan organization, which aims to 'expose' groups it deems anti-Israel, have been determined to be forged or suspected as such by the Israeli police and court

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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Neta Hazan, earlier this month.
Neta Hazan, earlier this month.Credit: Emil Salman
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Incriminating documents against two left-wing activists, disseminated by the Ad Kan right-wing group, have been determined to be forged, or suspected as such, by the police and courts.

Earlier this month, a judge deemed an Ad Kan document against Neta Hazan, a Combatants for Peace activist, was targeted by Ad Kan inadmissible and inauthentic. In addition, the judge supported Hazan’s claim that the document was forged.

This in addition to a past event, where two Ad Kan's documents were published by the media, implicated Ezra Nawi, a left-wing activist. After a police investigation of the documents, it determined that at least one of them was forged.

In 2015, Ad Kan was established and started assigning members to infiltrate left-wing and human right organizations, which Ad Kan perceives as anti-Israeli, with the purpose of exposing incriminating information. The revealed information is then disclosed with media outlets and law enforcement agencies.

In January 2016, the Israeli investigative TV series “Uvda” used footage provided by Ad Kan to report that Nawi was giving the information of a Palestinian businessman, who was trying to sell land to Jewish settlers, to the Palestinian Preventive Security (an internal intelligence agency). According to footage, Nawi was bragging about how this businessman would be tortured and executed.

Ezra Nawi in court, in 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

After the report was aired, Ad Kan filed a complaint against Nawi with the police. Shortly thereafter, Itzik Magrafta, a right-wing activist, gave the police what seemed to be two memos of the Preventive Security Agency.

One of the memos described Nawi as the source for the information about the land sale to Israelis. In a reliability check, the police has found that both the seals and handwritten signatures were identical, which led to the conclusion that at least one of the documents was composed using a photo-montage, and hence forged.

However, Aviram Ze’evi, Ad Kan’s director, told Haaretz that neither he nor someone from Ad Kan provided these documents to the police. He did confirm that the documents were shared with the media. Furthermore, the organization denied that it knew that the police had deemed at least one document fake.

Magrafta was also the source of the document against Neta Hazan. In April 2017, Magrafta posted on Facebook the content of a phone call with a senior Palestinian official, who purportedly told him that the Preventive Security Agency had an agent named Neta Hazan. He later published her photo, and in response to his Facebook post, other users shared Hazan's personal details, including her place of residence. Following this post, Hazan filed a libel suit against him.

In an affidavit he submitted in July 2019, Magrafta included a document which describes the plaintiff was an agent of the Palestinian Preventive Security. The document, ostensibly from 2016, was signed by Issa Abu Aram, a former agency employee, and included information about a planned demonstration against the West Bank separation barrier. Abu Aram noted that Hazan organized the demonstration and coordinated it with Raed al-Hadar, an activist in Combatants for Peace, who also works for the Palestinian agency.

Although Hazan attended that demonstration, she said, she had not organized it or requested permits for holding it.

Magrafta summoned the director of Ad Kan as a defense witness, who wrote in an affidavit: “I determine, based on my abundant professional experience, that these are authentic documents of the Preventive Security Agency.”

Ad Kan has said that the results of a graphology test show that the document is reliable, but they refused to show these results upon Haaretz's request.

Throughout the trail, Magrafta changed the identity of the source who disclosed the document with him, which may have called its integrity into question. While at the beginning of the trail he testified that the document came from the same source who shared with him the two documents relating to Nawi. After Abu Aram died he changed his mind and claimed that the source of these documents was Aram himself.

Ad Kan's dubious sourcing for these documents didn’t stop them from releasing a report containing the document implicating Hazan. She was then summoned for a termination hearing at Seeds for Peace, the American organization where she was employed at the time and was ultimately fired. She was also questioned by the police on suspicion of having contact with a foreign agent.

Police sources said that the investigation has been completed and that the file has been referred to the prosecutor’s office, but they declined to say what the police recommended that the prosecutor’s office do with the case.

Earlier this month, Judge Ohad Gordon ruled that Magrafta had not established the admissibility or authenticity of the document in question. The judge based his decision partly on the reason that the document on Hazan and the document that the police had found to be forged had come from the same source.

He also found that Abu Aram, who signed the document allegedly as a Palestinian Preventive Security employee, had left his job at the agency years before the document was crafted.

Moreover, Magrafta had refrained from asking Abu Aram to testify and actually only mentioned his ties to Abu Aram after Abu Aram died, the judge found.

In addition, on a cross-examination by Carmel Pomerantz, Hazan’s lawyer, Magrafta claimed that he had deleted the WhatsApp text message in which Abu Aram had sent him the document.

All of this led the judge to conclude that the authenticity of the document could not be verified. He ordered Magrafta to pay Hazan 65,000 shekels ($19,500) in compensation in addition to 17,500 shekels in legal expenses.

Although documents published by Ad Kan have found to be forged, both the police and court, multiple media outlets still rely on them. According to Ad Kan's Facebook page, last week, a Channel 13 News report leaned on an extensive Ad Kan investigation.

Ad Kan said in response that it was pleased that what it called “the dangerous connection between extreme left-wing Israeli organizations and the murderous and sadistic organization the Palestinian Preventive Security” had again been a subject of public discourse.

“Contrary to what had been said, both the complaint and the indictment against Ezra Nawi were based on many hours of video recorded at Ad Kan and whose reliability and severity are indisputable,” Ad Kan added. “With regard to the document, it was not sent by us to the police and Nawi himself confirmed the contents of the document and testified to that in the documentation [reported by “Uvda”] that is in our possession."

“The connection between Preventive Security and the members of Combatants for Peace and the connection of many years between Neta Hazan and Raed al-Hader [the activist with Combatants for Peace who also works for the Palestinian agency] were proven in a number of ways, including through pictures and internal correspondence. Hazan even declared as such in court, in addition to her connection with other employees of the Palestinian Authority,” the Ad Kan statement continued. “We stand behind all of the reports that were verified by us through a variety of means, including conversations with some of the people mentioned in the documents. If any of the organizations claim that we published libel, they are welcome to go to court and we will be happy to prove them mistaken, and perhaps even beyond that.”

Magrafta and Seeds for Peace declined to provide a response for this article.

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