A sensitive high-risk operation by an elite Israeli military unit in an enemy country was leaked to foreign media a day before it was carried out.
Only a small number of political and defense officials knew of the operation, which was postponed by a day over security concerns, and eventually successfully carried out.
The source who leaked the details to the media didn't know about the decision to postpone the operation, and upon discovering this asked the reporter to delay the publication.
The operation was scheduled to take place after lengthy preparation and training of the elite unit. Despite the enormous risk to operatives it entailed, decision makers considered the significance of the operation as too great not to proceed.
The information leak angered senior members of the defense establishment and the elite unit that carried out the mission, who were unaware that the information had been passed on to the media. Security officials warned that the leak put the lives of the operatives in serious danger.
The New York Times reported this week that Israel informed the United States that it was behind an attack on an Iranian ship last month in the Mediterranean.
- Iran's retaliation to Israel at sea has been largely symbolic. That could change
- The latest reported Israeli attack on an Iranian ship seems like a deliberate escalation
- Iran's floating Red Sea base that Israel reportedly hit, explained
According to a report released by a U.S. official, Israel told the Americans that this was in retaliation for an operation last month that was attributed to Iran against two ships partly owned by Israeli companies belonging to businessmen Rami Unger and Udi Angel.