"There is no real explanation why being a source, this is what is written in the indictment, being a journalistic source and working under the law moving the material only to a journalist who is working by law and who is obeying the law and who is publishing everything which was authorised by the censorship, this suddenly transforms this very simple democratic act to something that risks the national security, with intention to risk national security, Anat never had this intent."
Israeli authorities charged a former soldier with espionage on Thursday for allegedly leaking more than 2,000 classified military documents to a local newspaper, shedding light on a saga that has been kept under wraps for months.
A censored version of the indictment against 23-year-old Anat Kamm said she copied the documents and relayed them to the Haaretz newspaper.
Some 700 were classified as "top secret."
The indictment charged Kamm with passing information with the intent of harming national security. Her lawyer, Eitan Lehman, denied this.
He told the Associated Press that all the newspaper stories had been published with the consent of the censor. He added that if she had posed a threat to national security, she would not have be allowed to stay home and continue working.
Lehman said there was no explanation why being a "journalistic source and working under the law moving the material only to a journalist who is working by law ...this suddenly transforms this very simple democratic act to something that risks the national security, with intention to risk national security," Lehman said.
"Anat never had this intent," he added.
Kamm has been under house arrest since December, but the detention has been kept under wraps by a court-imposed gag order.
The Justice Ministry said the gag order was necessary for security reasons and to allow officials to try to recover the classified documents.
Only some of the documents were recovered, it said, in part because the Haaretz journalist who allegedly got them has left the country.
The gag order drew harsh criticism from local media, because the foreign reports were easily accessible over the Internet.
In some cases, local newspapers published Web sites with the reports, or even copies of foreign reports, with all relevant names and details blacked out.
The court eased the restrictions on Thursday after details of the case were reported by foreign media, including The Associated Press.
Prosecutors allege she is the source for a Haaretz story that accused the military of killing Palestinian militants in violation of a Supreme Court ruling.
Israel''s targeted killing policy was one of its most contentious in its years of bloody battle against a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000.
Critics charged it to be illegal extra-judicial killing, while supporters credit it with quashing the Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings and shooting attacks.
In late 2006, Israel''s Supreme Court set strict restrictions on assassinations in the West Bank, limiting them to extraordinary cases.
Officially, the military stopped the practice following the ruling.
But the Haaretz report cited a document from March 2007 that included an order from Major General Yair Naveh, then the top Israeli commander in the West Bank, permitting firing upon three top Palestinian militants even if they did not pose clear and present dangers.
That summer, one of the men, Ziad Malaisha, of the Islamic Jihad, was killed in Jenin.
Experts interviewed by Haaretz said the order was illegal.
Naveh told Haaretz at the time that the killing was justified and did not violate the court ruling. Naveh is now retired and could not be reached for comment.
At the time of the memos, Kamm served in Naveh''s office.
Kamm became a media columnist for the Walla Web site after completing her mandatory military service. The charges against her do not relate to her journalistic activities.
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