Israel’s deputy ambassador to
Washington, Dan Arbel, was suspended on Tuesday for allegedly leaking sensitive information to a Haaretz reporter in 2009.
Arbel, a senior and widely respected
diplomat, is now expected to undergo a disciplinary procedure. The alleged leak
took place before Arbel went to Washington.
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In December 2009, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
announced the suspension of Alon Bar
, then the ministry’s deputy director-general
for strategic affairs, for allegedly leaking classified information that
he said at the time “created tension” with the US.
Ten months later, Bar
was appointed Israel’s envoy to Spain after a disciplinary process carried out
by the Civil Service Commission and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)
exonerated him. The investigation continued, however, and has now
apparently led to Arbel.
The ministry’s director-general circulated an
internal memo to workers on Tuesday, saying that a senior ministry employee had
been suspended temporarily to enable the Civil Service Commission and the Shin
Bet to investigate.
Spokesmen both in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem
and in the embassy in Washington were under strict orders Tuesday not to discuss
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