Israel, Government Tightens Press Restrictions; Issue New Order

The Government of Israel today tightened restrictions against press coverage of its activities by ordering all civil servants to withhold not only secret data but also any information coming to their knowledge “which is not expressedly intended for publication purposes.”

The order was issued by the Civil Service Commission in a circular to all Government employes warning them that under 1957 amendments to the state security law, any Government employee “who without legal authority passes on information coming to his attention in his official capacity to a person not authorized to receive such information is liable to three years’ imprisonment.”

The circular stressed that “it must be emphasized that a journalist has no more right to receive information than the general public.” It was also disclosed that employes in all Government offices were required to sign declarations pledging themselves to keep all information secret.

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