Knesset Committee Approves 'Anat Kam Bill'

Law, Constitution and Justice Committee approves for first reading law that widens definition of espionage.

Gil Ronen ,

Anat Kam in court (file)
Anat Kam in court (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset approved for the first reading a bill that widens the definition of espionage. It has been dubbed the "Anat Kam bill" after a woman who is serving time for stealing classified documents and leaking them to a Haaretz reporter

The bill adds a new offense to the criminal code: holding secret documents and passing them on to an unauthorized person without permission – without intent to cause harm to the state. 

The maximum punishment for this offense would be 10 years in jail.

The current law does not provide a separate definition for espionage of this type that is carried out without intent to harm the state. Passing on classified documents to unauthorized people carries a 15 year maximum sentence. 

The bill was authored by Kadima MK Otniel Schneller and Likud's Tzion Pinian. It also sets a seven year maximum sentence for an unauthorized person who held classified information and was aware of its status. In addition, an attempt to enter a restricted area will be punishable by 3 years in jail.