TEL AVIV (Aug. 12)
Legal proceedings have begun against the Israeli correspondent for the Washington Star, David Halevy, in connection with the story he wrote last week claiming that Israel’s chief of security services (Shin Bet) had handed in his resignation because Premier Menachem Begin had obstructed an investigation by the Shin Bet into the bombing incidents last June on the West Bank in which two mayors were maimed and an Israeli police sapper was injured.
Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir who ordered the legal proceedings, said Holevy, who is now in Washington, may have violated Israel’s laws governing censorship and state secrets by revealing the name of the Shin Bet chief in his Washington Star story. Violation of the state secrets law is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The Shin Bet chief made it clear since the story was published that Begin did not in any way obstruct the investigation and that he had told Begin he wanted to retire at he end of his tour this year long before the June bombing incidents. Holevy, in his story, said the security chief had first broached the issue of resigning, not retiring, on June 4, two days after the bombings, in a meeting with Begin and that there is a written report of that meeting. However, there is no record of that alleged meeting nor any written report about it.