War criminals' list still circulating, after removal

After original Web host removes list, the posting of IDF soldiers' details raises new security concerns.

November 19, 2010 07:59
2 minute read.
MK Danny Danon

MK Danny Danon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Zymic, an American Web-hosting service, on Thursday removed a website published in recent days which listed the names, photos, addresses, identity numbers and positions of hundreds of IDF soldiers and commanders accused by the site's anonymous author of being "Israeli war criminals" during Operation Cast Lead.

Although a number of soldiers who were listed said on Thursday that they were proud to be on the site, its appearance raised new questions about holes in security surrounding sensitive IDF information.

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The list even included personal information on outgoing IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

"This site has been suspended for breaching Zymic's hosting T.O.S. [terms of service]," read the message that replaced the site's content. "You will not get away with abusing our service. We utilize human review checking as well as automated abuse checks which will suspend and ban your account. Don't bother wasting your time with our service if you aim to abuse it," the message continued.

Facebook on Thursday prevented users from posting the list on its global social network, describing it as "blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive." Still, copies of the content continued to circulate around other sites on the Internet.

The website posted what it said were details of soldiers from "low-level field commanders to the highest echelons of the Israeli army." The anonymous author added that the information was "pirated."

"Not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same," the author said. "They bear a distinctive personal responsibility." The author called on readers "to seek out other such similar information. It is readily available in the public sphere and inside public officials' locked cabinets." "This project... has only just begun," the author added. "Do your bit so that this virtual list may come to bear upon the physical."

Also on Thursday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) presented a request to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin for an urgent investigation by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee into the "destructive publication on the Internet, in which the personal details of IDF soldiers who fought in Cast Lead were exposed."

Danon requested a discussion in the committee into the "consequences of the publication for the personal security of the soldiers and its influence on motivation and morale in the IDF." The lawmaker called for an investigation into "who is behind the website and for their punishment."

Kadima MK Majallie Whbee called for the attorney-general and the Israel Police to investigate those behind the website.

"Those who incite against IDF soldiers and call them 'war criminals' and endanger them should be punished for it," Whbee said.

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