Netanyahu, cabinet, Shalit swap deal
From right: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, Minister Silvan Shalom and Minister Dan Meridor at Tuesday’s special cabinet meeting. Photo by GPO
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen to begin investigating the information recently leaked to the media regarding Israel's preparations for a military offensive against Iran's nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida newspaper reported Thursday.

According to the report, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin are those responsible for leaking information to the media regarding an attack on Iran.

"The two recruited prominent journalists in Israel and disclosed false information in order to politically harm Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak," the newspaper quoted an Israeli source.

According to the source, Diskin wanted revenge for not receiving the post of Mossad chief and Dagan was disgruntled since his term as Mossad chief was not extended.

The newspaper also quotes a source in the Prime Minister's Office who claims opposition head Tzipi Livni was also recruited to the media campaign in order to accuse Netanyahu and Barak of harming national interests. The goal of the media campaign, according to the source, is to prevent an attack on Iran and to remove Netanyahu from the prime minister's post.

The report also quotes an Israeli source claiming Israel's plan for a military offensive on Iran's nuclear facilities has moved ahead from discussion stage to the preparation stage.

"This fact pushed those opposing the move to leak the details to the press and to effectively foil the operation," the Israeli source told the newspaper.

No reporter is signed off on the report, but the newspaper has published similar reports about leaks in Israel's Prime Minister's Office in the past which turned out to be true.

קראו כתבה זה בעברית: דיווח באל-ג'רידה: נתניה הורה על חקירת שב"כ בעניין ההדפלות על איראן