Palestinian collaborator with Israel sues Al-Jazeera for exposing his identity

Complainant says the release of his name might have been done purposely to deter future would-be collaborators.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

An Arab man who collaborated with the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet domestic security agency is suing Al Jazeera for NIS 10 million, claiming that the broadcaster exposed his identity, according to a report in the Maariv daily.

Ahmed – a pseudonym – agreed to be interviewed by the Qatari-owned television network. His face was blurred on the screen, but his real full name was exposed.

The lawsuit against Al-Jazeera was filed in the Jerusalem District Court. Ahmed says that as a result of the exposure, “the death penalty has been issued against me.”

The legal document submitted to the court explains that “the complainant cannot currently visit his family because they are very angry with him. If they get together, he will likely be murdered.”

Using informants from the inside is a well-known method used by intelligence services around the world to gain information on sensitive issues. However, if they are exposed to their own authorities, they face almost certain death.

Israeli security officials insist that they are scrupulous in their adherence to secrecy guidelines.

Ahmed – a villager from the Nablus (Shechem) area – is not only arguing negligence on Al-Jazeera‘s part but says that he might have been set up, as part of a plan to deter Palestinians from cooperating with Israeli authorities.

His lawyer’s complaint says that a “reporter was waiting for him…she asked him to be interviewed for the program,” they say, adding that the complainant agreed on the condition that his face would be blurred and his identity kept secret.”

The incident occurred in 2014 and the interview was part of an Al-Jazeera report on Palestinian collaborators.

The broadcaster was also allegedly operating against Israel’s Shin Bet law which stipulates that the disclosure of the details of an informant shall be met with a three-year prison term.

Before filing suit,  Ahmed’s lawyer says that he wrote to Al-Jazeera and called on the network to remove the video of the interview from YouTube and to pay damages but that the network rejected the request on the grounds that the report had been produced by an external company.

Interviewed by Maariv, Ahmed says: “My extended family tried to harm me in every possible way. They sent out people to do me physical harm. They tried to burn me inside my home,” he told the newspaper.

“They’ve ruined my life; I am currently undergoing psychiatric treatment,” he adds.

Maariv says that they could not obtain a reaction from Al-Jazeera for this article.