Netanyahu is ‘first who should be investigated’ over cabinet leak, Mofaz says

Netanyahu is ‘first who should be investigated’ over cabinet leak, Mofaz says

Opposition leader calls mishandling of sensitive information on Iran proof of 'reckless' government administration

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz  (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Shin Bet security service should certainly investigate Tuesday’s leak of sensitive information on Iran from the security cabinet meeting, but Benjamin Netanyahu “is the first who ought to be investigated,” opposition leader Shaul Mofaz said Thursday. He was responding to the prime minister’s threat to probe members of the security cabinet over the leak.

Netanyahu was reported on Wednesday to be considering asking the Shin Bet to investigate participants in Tuesday night’s security cabinet meeting on Iran, including ministers, in an effort to discover the identity of the person who leaked information from the meeting to the press. When he learned of the leak, which appeared on the front page of Wednesday’s Yedioth Ahronoth, the prime minister called off a followup meeting, saying the unknown leaker had put Israel’s security at risk.

Mofaz lashed out against the government for “not only pursuing a reckless policy [on Iran], but being administered in a reckless fashion.”

“The leaks from within the [security] cabinet discussions, dealing with the sanctum sanctorum and clandestine secrets of the State of Israel,” are evidence of the government’s recklessness, Mofaz charged.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz backed Netanyahu’s proposal to interrogate security cabinet members over the leak and possibly submit them to a lie detector test.

“The prime minister behaved correctly when he required participants of the meeting to undergo a polygraph test,” Katz said at the opening ceremony of a new interchange at Ramat Hovav on Thursday.

“It’s unacceptable for things to be leaked from confidential meetings, and whoever is responsible for it needs to be brought to justice.”

According to the Yedioth report, Tuesday’s seven-hour security cabinet session dealt mainly with the Iranian threat, and featured briefings by the Mossad, the Shin Bet and IDF Military Intelligence. Cabinet members were reportedly amazed to hear conflicting assessments from the various intelligence chiefs on the status of Iran’s nuclear program and the point at which Israeli military intervention would no longer be effective.

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