May 15th, 2023
Data Sheet: Only 2.8% of files in the Israeli government archives are accessible to the public

A new data sheet by Akevot shows the current state of access to materials deposited in Israel’s major government archives – the Israel State Archives (ISA) and the IDF and Defense Establishment Archives (IDEA).

Download the data sheet here

This data sheet presents the current state of affairs regarding the scope of access to materials kept in the major governmental archives. The figures, sourced from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Defense replies to requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), show that only 3% of all files kept in the ISA and the IDEA are currently accessible to the public. The figures also show that reviews ahead of declassification are extremely slow, especially at the IDEA, the largest governmental archive in Israel, which is a major factor in the low rate of access to historical records in the country. There has been a significant improvement on one key point, however: The number of titles appearing in publicly accessible catalogues, which provide information about the records stored in the archive, has increased substantially compared to previous years.