Sensitive Israeli Operation Leaked to Foreign Media a Day Before It Was Carried Out

Information about the elite army unit's operation in an enemy country was passed on to media by a source who was unaware of a decision to postpone it by a day

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The Israeli military's headquarters in central Tel Aviv.
The Israeli military's headquarters in central Tel Aviv.Credit: Moti Milrod

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 part of the defense establishment's activities to curtail the Iranian foothold in Syria and other countries in the region.

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.

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.