Gilad Kariv : Netanyahu’s Legal Action Against Leaking Journalists – Israel Politics

Leaked information from Israeli cabinet meetings has prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for criminal prosecutions of those responsible for publishing the leaks, according to reports in Israeli media. Netanyahu is seeking to keep all details of cabinet meetings private, even those that are not related to security matters. Any information that is not pre-approved by the censor and is published by a journalist could lead to criminal prosecution for both the leaker and the journalist.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara is expected to oppose Netanyahu’s request, which would make prosecuting leakers more difficult. The request for an investigation into leaks from the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee was made on January 8, 2024, by the Knesset Speaker’s Office. Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana has ordered an investigation into the leaks, appointing an officer to determine the source of the leaks.

The investigation revealed that only one Knesset member had accessed the information before it was leaked to the media. The member had marked the same parts of the meeting’s notes that were eventually published, despite the committee director stating that the member had received a copy without any markings. In response to the investigation, Ohana has called for a criminal investigation and potential prosecution if evidence warrants it.

Labour MK Gilad Kariv has been identified as the leaker by Israeli media. Kariv welcomed the investigation into the leaks but expressed concern that it may be a politically motivated attempt to intimidate Knesset members. Kariv intends to contact the Attorney General to request an immediate investigation into leaks from the War Cabinet that endangered IDF soldiers. The Union of Journalists in Israel has criticized the proposal, stating that it threatens press freedom and is undemocratic.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for criminal prosecutions of those responsible for publishing leaked cabinet meeting details has sparked controversy and divided opinions. While some support the move as a necessary measure to protect national security, others argue that it infringes on press freedom and democratic principles. The investigation into the leaks continues, and the outcome remains uncertain.

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