Brigadier General Nitzan Alon, commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria division, has distributed a letter to commanders in his division in which he asks them to investigate soldiers who are residents of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The reason for the request, according to Alon, is a concern that these soldiers may leak information regarding future evacuation of outpost communities.Following this, what happened? The police went and raided a Shomron news agency in a kind of "revenge" raid:
Benny Katzover, chairman of the Samaria Residents’ Committee, also responded to Alon’s letter, saying: “Only a leftist officer such as Brigadier General Nitzan Alon would push away from military service soldiers who have different political views from his own. This is an intolerable discrimination between soldiers simply because of political affiliation, and it should be examined by the officials in charge of the division commander.”
Early this morning, hours after a Shomron news agency publicized an internal anti-settler IDF directive, a large police force raided its offices, confiscated computers, and made two arrests.I'm afraid this is a very serious case of attacking someone's right to report on what they feel is a concerning matter. The police and army alike owe an apology, and the Knesset would do well to pass a law preventing this kind of galling behavior from occurring.
An unusually large force of 100 policemen arrived in Yitzhar, north of Tapuach in Samaria, and swooped down on the offices of HaKol HaYehudi (the Jewish Voice). Officials in Yitzhar say the raid is most certainly linked directly to the agency's publication of an IDF Division Head's memo against soldiers who live in Judea and Samaria (Yesha).
Yitzhar: Freedom of Expression Under Attack
The Jewish Voice issued this statement in response to today's police action: "Freedom of expression has once again been trampled by the Shabak (Israel Security Agency) and Shai Nitzan. Their use of secret information against the media that acts openly shows who is in the right."
The agency stated that Shai Nitzan's behavior is "problematic, as shown by the document publicized yesterday. Reports like yesterday's frighten the establishment, which would rather hide its activities from the public."
MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) condemned this morning's arrests, saying, "The arrest of those who revealed the document calling for the distancing of Yesha residents in the IDF is a strong blow to our democratic rule. Instead of trying to figure out where they went wrong, they send the police to settle accounts with the Jewish Voice."