Breaking the Silence fights for survival to keep sources secret

The future of Breaking the Silence was in the balance on Sunday before the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court as the State Attorney tried to compel it to reveal the name of a former soldier.
The soldier was a source in its critical report on IDF conduct during the 2014 Gaza war.
For around 11 years, the NGO has delivered anonymous testimonies from soldiers on alleged IDF abuses during conflict with the Palestinians.
The state attorney is demanding that Breaking the Silence reveal one of its anonymous sources, saying that solving the crime the anonymous soldier is accused of takes precedence over letting the group maintain his anonymity.
The group has made big headlines over the years dating back to the 2008-9 Gaza war, but was thrust back into the media spotlight since its tactics were attacked in detail on Channel 2 in March and by a wide range of politicians.
At Sunday’s hearing, lawyer Michael Sfard pleaded with the court to “defend Breaking the Silence, and in doing so, to defend civil society which is very broken which is anxious about its future.”
He said that ruling against the NGO would be a major blow to Israeli democracy and freedom of speech.
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