High-ranking officials within the Mossad encouraged the nationwide protests against the government's judicial reform among the agency's spies and the Israeli public, leaked documents from the Pentagon obtained by the New York Times alleged.
The alleged leak, believed to have come through the Pentagon, related to a document that contained information about a direct intervention from Mossad into the Israeli political landscape.
The document said that senior Mossad spies and officials had “advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest the new Israeli Government’s proposed judicial reforms, including several explicit calls to action that decried the Israeli Government, according to signals intelligence,” according to NYT.
Mossad chief David Barnea was installed by Netanyahu, though he has been publicly silent on the overhaul and related matters.
The documents allegedly claim that information about Mossad's internal action was obtained through signals intelligence. Also known as SIGINT, this is intelligence derived from electronic signals and systems used by foreign targets. This can include communications systems, radars, and weapons systems that provide "a vital window for our nation into foreign adversaries' capabilities, actions, and intentions," according to the US National Security Agency (NSA).
The documents were also marked as top secret and only to be shared within the network of American intelligence agencies.
Mossad employees given permission to join protests
Barnea had allegedly given permission to junior employees of the international security organization to participate in the protests after consulting with Israel's attorney general. Participants were however barred from identifying themselves as members of the organization,
In March 2023, several hundred former employees and five former Mossad chiefs signed a statement in opposition to the judicial overhaul.
Historically, Mossad has remained quiet on domestic social and political controversies. Unlike the Shin Bet, which focuses on matters of security within Israel, the Mossad strictly focuses on global matters.
In March 2023, Netanyahu's son, Yair, made claims that the US State Department and parts of Israeli intelligence were responsible for the protests.
Mossad rejects reports
The Mossad vehemently rejected the "false and unfounded accusations in American reports" in a statement published on Sunday morning through the Prime Minister's Office. "The Mossad and its senior officials have not and do not encourage Mossad employees to attend anti-government demonstrations, nor any other political demonstrations and events.
"The Mossad has not dealt with the protests," it stated.
This is a developing story.