Ministerial Committee Supports 'Anat Kamm' Bill

Bill calls for a legal distinction regarding the intent of those who reveal classified information; Anat Kamm, a former IDF soldier, was accused of handing over secret army documents.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation has decided to support the "Anat Kamm" bill, which calls for a legal distinction between individuals who reveal classified information with the intent to harm the state, versus the unauthorized exposure of classified information by someone who has no intent of harming state interests.

Individuals found guilty of the former, according to the proposed bill, will be sentenced to 15-years in prison, whereas those found guilty of the latter, such as Anat Kamm, will receive a lesser sentence.

kamm - Tomer Appelbaum - September 14, 2010
Tomer Appelbaum

Anat Kamm, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier, was accused of handing secret army documents to Haaretz writer Uri Blau.

According to the indictment against Kamm, during her military service as clerk in the office of then-GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, she collected about 2,000 documents, some highly classified and top-secret, and copied them to CDs and her personal computer.

The proposed bill states that in a situation like Kamm's, the accused will be sentenced to 10 years in prison. The bill also says that anyone who obtains or holds information that is classified and is not authorized to this information will be sentenced to seven-years in prison.

According to the bill, anyone who enters or attempts entry into a restricted area may be sentenced to 3 years incarceration.

The bill's purpose, initiated by Kadima MK Otniel Schneller was to "distinguish between two types of crime and the penalties for those who perpetrate them: [there is a difference between] a person who holds confidential information with the intent to harm state security, versus a second type of crime, which involves illegal handling of confidential security information, in which the person passing on this information has no intent of harming the state."

According to Schneller, "the difference between espionage and serious harm to state security is small, and they are both very severe. What Kamm did was nearly as severe as espionage, and this bill will clarify the severity of unauthorized use of security information with the intent of harming the state, and the severity of such an act."