Anat Kamm told Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogators that she copied more than 2,000 IDF documents so that she could alert the public about the alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the West Bank, and that from a historical perspective those who revealed such information were forgiven.
She also said she had lost a disc onto which she had copied IDF computer presentations, and had no idea what happened to it.
Kamm’s statements were included in the text of a decision handed down by Tel Aviv District Court Judge Zeev on February 10, ordering the defendant to be held under house arrest during the legal proceedings against her. The text released on Monday included small changes from the original text of the decision, which was handed down but could not be published because of a gag order which was in effect on the entire affair.
In January, the state filed an indictment against Kamm, charging her with aggravated espionage with intent to harm state security for having gathered, held in her possession and handed over classified military documents.
Last week, Hammer partially lifted the gag order on the case. On Monday, he allowed publication of the entire text of his decision, except for certain deletions. The document includes more details about the affair, including a glimpse of what motivated Kamm to do what she did.
“There were aspects of IDF operations which I thought should be brought to the attention of the public,” Kamm told Shin Bet investigators. “When I burned the discs I thought that in the test of history, those who had warned of war crimes were forgiven... I didn’t succeed in changing enough of the matters that were important to me in my military service and I thought that revealing them would bring about change. Therefore, it was important to me to bring to public attention the IDF’s policy in the territories.”
Hammer also quoted Kamm as saying she had copied the material “with the thought that if and when the war crimes committed by Israel in the territories were investigated, I would be in possession of evidence which I could submit.”
Kamm maintained that she did not believe her actions would endanger state security because she was certain the army censor would block any articles written on the basis of her information which did so. That was one of the reasons she gave the documents to an Israeli reporter, since she knew his reports would come before the censor, she added.
She also said she believed that whichever journalist received documents from her would “not focus on the minute details of the military operation but on the principles and policy which were behind the decisions of the major-general [OC Central Command Yair Naveh] and the staff officers.”
The document also made it clear for the first time that Kamm lost the second disc she had prepared, which included IDF computer presentations, and that it had not been found.
“The disc with the computer presentations disappeared and had not been found until now,” wrote Hammer. “[Kamm] says she does not remember what she did with it, whether she left it in the army, took it home or threw it away.”
The state’s indictment of Kamm mentions the fact that she burned two discs, one containing documents and the other containing computer presentations. It went on to say that Kamm had copied hundreds of documents from the disc and gave them to Ha’aretz reporter Uri Blau, but did not mention what she did with the other disc.
In his decision, Hammer, a former ISA legal adviser, blasted the state of information security and protection in Naveh’s bureau, where Kamm worked as the assistant to the bureau head.
“I was shocked by the incomprehensible failure and the faulty and negligent arrangements for information protection” in the office of OC Central Command,” wrote Hammer. “[Kamm] said she did not go through any security examination, no one checked who she was, who her acquaintances were, what her views were, what her ideology was,” he continued. “Despite that, she had access to all the most classified and secret documents, as well as the classified computer in the office, which she worked on every day and from which she copied, with the click of a mouse, the secret documents to an unclassified computer, which was also linked to a printer so that the documents could have been printed out.”
Hammer was also critical of Kamm.
“In order to bring to the public’s attention ‘a number of aspects’ of IDF operations in the territories or to investigate ‘war crimes’ in the territories, one does not have to gather and steal thousands of classified documents dealing with a variety of areas of operations, planning and maneuvers, including various plans for military operations, summaries of IDF meetings, deployment of IDF forces, including battle orders, summaries of IDF investigations, IDF situational appraisals, descriptions of various IDF goals, documents dealing with intelligence-gathering and so on,” wrote Hammer.
He was also critical of Kamm’s alleged carelessness.
“[Kamm] admitted that her computer was not protected,” he wrote. “She also did not consider how and where the journalist would keep the documents she gave him and who would have access to them. She gave no thought to how she would safeguard them and the importance of protecting the contents. The fact is that one of the discs disappeared and who knows where it ended up and if someone has found it. She also admitted that she was aware of the way journalists here bypass censorship by leaking the material to the foreign media, which can publish it abroad.”