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Anat Kamm awarded early prison release

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli soldier Anat Kamm, who turned classified military documents over to an Israeli reporter, will go free by the end of the month after approval of her appeal for early release.

Kamm’s early release was approved Thursday by the Israel Prison Service, which commended her behavior at the all-female Neve Tirzah Prison since November 2011. She had been scheduled to go free in May 2015.

Kamm was convicted in February 2011 of collecting, holding and passing on classified information without authorization. She had been charged originally with espionage, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain. Kamm was arrested in early 2010.

She admitted to stealing about 2,000 documents, including hundreds identified as classified or top secret, which she downloaded on two discs, while serving her mandatory military service in the Israeli army’s Central Command. She turned the information over to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau, who wrote stories based on the information that were approved by the military censor. The stories led to a search for Blau’s source.

“I didn’t have the chance to change some of the things that I found important to change during my military service, and I thought that by exposing these [materials] I would make a change,” Kamm is quoted as telling police investigators. “It was important for me to bring the IDF’s policy to public knowledge.”

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