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Israel to prosecute Haaretz journalist

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will prosecute the journalist who allegedly accepted classified documents from a soldier.

Uri Blau, an investigative reporter for Haaretz, allegedly accepted more than 1,500 classified military documents from Anat Kamm, 22, who is serving a 4 1/2-year prison term after accepting a plea bargain.

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced Wednesday that he will indict Blau for being in possession of thousands of military documents, many of them top secret. Kamm had stolen the documents during her military service.

Blau is not being charged with the offense of espionage, though a statement from the prosecutor’s office called the charges "severe espionage," which means that he allegedly obtained or kept secret information without authorization, but without intent to harm state security. He faces up to seven years in prison.

Haaretz responded to the charges by saying they are "unfortunate" and set "a precedent in terms of its ramifications on the freedom of press in Israel, and especially on the ability to cover the security apparatus."
 

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