Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Shin Bet (Israel Security
Agency) chief Yoram Cohen to investigate leaks about government
discussions on the possibility of a military strike on Iran, Kuwaiti
newspaper Al-Jarida reported Thursday.
newspaper, which has been the recipient of Israeli government leaks in
the past, alleged that former security officials had enlisted
journalists and opposition politicians to launch a political campaign
against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the Iranian issue.
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The leaked reports about discussion in the government, the report added, are all false.
Israeli cabinet ministers went on the offensive Wednesday accusing the
media of unprecedented recklessness in discussing publicly the prospects
of a strike on Iran. "There has never been a breakdown of
responsibility and a campaign of recklessness like there is today,
Minister-without-portfolio Benny Begin said to Army Radio.
Public officials, he said seemingly attacking Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan's numerous public
statements in recent months on the Iranian issue, are sworn "to guard
state secrets forever, also after they leave their positions."
Last week, Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot
ran a front-page column entitled, "Atomic Pressure," which alleged that
Netanyahu and Barak are in the midst of a campaign to convince cabinet
ministers of the necessity of striking Iran's nuclear program.
and former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, the Al-Jarida
alleged, were responsible for the media and political campaign, for
which it said opposition leader Tzipi Livni was recruited. Livni's role,
it said was to accuse Barak and Netanyahu of "adventurism and gambling
with national interests."
In her speech in the opening plenum of the the Knesset earlier this
week, Livni directly addressed Netanyahu, telling him to "listen to your
security chiefs" about Iran.
The Prime Minister's Office denied the Al-Jarida
report, according to Israel Radio.