Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz leaked sensitive details about Israel’s strategy for attacking Iran to cause a rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the Kuwati al-Jarida newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The Shin Bet security service denied the claim and Steinitz’s office also hotly rejected the allegation.
The Kuwaiti paper said its information was based on an Israeli source.
At the beginning of September, Israeli media published information about high-level disagreements over how to deal with Iran which occurred during a closed-door meeting from the previous day.
The leak drove an outraged Netanyahu to cancel the subsequent cabinet meeting and to threaten lie-detector tests for ministers present at the earlier meeting, in order to discover the source of the leak.
According to the al-Jarida report, a Shin Bet investigation traced the leak to Steinitz’s telephone and claimed that the finance minister tried to put the blame on Barak.
Barak and Steinitz have locked horns in the past over budget allocations to the Defense Ministry.
In a meeting with Netanyahu last week, Steinitz reportedly chided Barak for wanting a secure spot on the Likud party list, and Netanyahu upbraided the defense minister for a recent trip to the US, which he said had undermined his own ties with Washington.
The conversation touched off a week of allegations back and forth between Netanyahu and Barak, who until recently had enjoyed a close working relationship.
The two held a meeting Saturday to come to terms over their differences.
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