Breaking the Silence in the dock


The Israeli government is demanding that Breaking the Silence - the organisation that records testimonies from IDF soldiers on alleged human-rights offences - reveals the names of soldiers who spoke to the organisation's researchers.

In a hearing at the Petach Tikva Peace Court on Sunday, the State Prosecution explained that it needed to know the identities of the soldiers to carry out investigations into the allegations.

Breaking the Silence's lawyer, Michael Sfard, responded that the soldiers' anonymity was protected in the same way that journalistic sources are, and that the state's demands were an attempt to muzzle the organisation and make it impossible for it to gather evidence.

Human rights organisations including B'tselem and Amnesty have asked to provide evidence on behalf of Breaking the Silence. The court will resume the case in July.

In March, after footage was published showing Breaking the Silence activists asking former soldiers about Gaza tunnels and operation protocols, the then defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, accused the organisation of committing treason.

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