Israel Police is investigating Ha'aretz reporter Ilana Hammerman for helping three Palestinian girls illegally enter Israel and disturbing a police officer, The Jerusalem Post learned on Friday.
Hammerman wrote an article entitled "If there is a heaven" in which she described how she brought 18-year-old Palestinian girl Aya and her two cousins into Israel without permits, for "a day of fun" in Tel Aviv, during which she lied to an undercover police officer.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which describes itself as "preserving the national integrity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people," sent a letter of complaint to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein. Shimrit Alkalai, the Forum's lawyer, said that Hammerman's actions were against the Entrance to Israel Law. The Attorney General's office responded that the case has been sent to the police for further investigation.
In the May 13 article "If there is a heaven," Hammerman describes the precautions she took to get the teens, who did not have entry permits, into Israel: "Look, I told her, I can't take you to Istanbul, but I can take you to Tel Aviv! We picked a date and agreed they would all wear modern Western-style clothes and no headscarves."
The writer then describes her trip out of Judea: "I was particularly interested in the yellow sign that greets those coming from the new Israel to the old Israel... The sign said "Welcome to the Betar crossing point. This crossing is designated for Israelis only. Crossing over or transporting of someone who is not Israeli is prohibited!!' Despite the awkward wording, I understood what was written on the sign and what was permissible and prohibited."
Hammerman continued: "When we approached the checkpoint, the red sign, the metal tower, the speed bumps, the concrete barriers, the soldiers' position, I felt my legs shaking - and not because of the bumpy road. I took a deep breath, slowed down but didn't stop, rolled down the window, gave the soldier a causal wave and he indifferently motioned for me to keep going. 'We made it!'"
Hammerman wrote that she took the girls to major Tel Aviv sites such as the beach, Dizengoff Center, the Jaffa Flea Market, the Land of Israel Museum and Tel Aviv University.
While in Jaffa, an undercover police officer stopped the girls, but Hammerman told him that they are from East Jerusalem, and are legal residents of Israel.
Another Ha'aretz writer came under fire recently for the Anat Kamm case. Kamm, then a soldier in the office of OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, allegedly copied over 2,000 classified military documents and leaked them to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau. Blau used the documents to publish a report in October 2008 that found that the army had carried out targeted killings against three wanted terrorists in the West Bank, in violation of a 2006 Supreme Court ruling that said wanted men must be taken into custody if there were a possibility of doing so.
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