A celebratory press conference turned into a public embarrassment for Tel Aviv
police on Monday afternoon, after they released most of the details of the Bar
Noar investigation in a briefing with crime reporters, only for a Tel Aviv court
to extend a gag order minutes after the briefing.
The court’s decision
sent police scrambling to inform reporters that the entire briefing was to be
stricken from the record for the time being, and that all the details already
online at every Israeli media outlet were in fact against the law.
mix-up turned what had been a triumphant press conference – held to publicly
break down how Tel Aviv police cracked their biggest case in years – into an
embarrassing case of taking a victory lap too soon.
The confusion had to
do with the content of the gag order. Police were under the impression that the
hearing, held at 3:30 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s court, was to decide
whether or not the names of the three main suspects could be
They decided to hold their 4 p.m. briefing with reporters,
telling them that the details could be released and that by the end of the court
hearing, reporters would know whether they could add the names of the suspects
to their stories.
What they didn’t realize was that the gag-order hearing dealt, in fact, with all the details of the
investigation, most of which were hurriedly posted online while the court was
still wrapping up.
Minutes after reporters left the briefing, police sent
out a message that the gag order was extended and that all details of the case
must be stricken from the media for the moment. The news was met with
incredulity by reporters, but soon enough the articles were pulled off the
The next hearing on the gag order will be held on Tuesday