The Biden administration tried to reassure Israeli officials in recent days that Washington is committed to its security relationship with Israel after details contained in a trove of purported secret Pentagon documents leaked on social media appeared to suggest that the US had spied on some of its closest allies, including Israel, two Israeli officials told Barak Ravid of Axios on Tuesday.
US officials have acknowledged that at least some of the documents appear to be authentic intelligence assessments put together by the Pentagon, but officials have also cautioned that some of the information in documents also appears to “have been doctored.” The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak.
The White House declined to comment. The State Department and the Pentagon didn’t respond to Axios' requests for comment.
One of the leaked top-secret documents contained a short paragraph about Israel and alleged involvement by Mossad officials in the protests against the government’s judicial overhaul.
Another top-secret document that was leaked and seen by Axioscontained a US intelligence analysis of Israeli policy regarding military aid to Ukraine and stressed that US pressure could drive Israel to deliver more military assistance to Kyiv.
The document, which was first reported by the New York Times, contained sensitive details from US-Israeli consultations on the air strikes campaign against Iran in Syria and Israel's concerns about Russian-Iranian military cooperation.
According to Axios, US officials have reached out via several channels to assure their Israeli counterparts that it's investigating the leak. One Israeli official said that Pentagon officials urged their counterparts in the Israeli Defense Ministry to not overreact.
State Department officials also spoke in recent days with their Israeli counterparts, tried to reassure them and said the Biden administration is investigating the leak, a second Israeli official said.
Eyal Zamir, the director general of the Defense Ministry, will visit Washington on Thursday and is expected to discuss the issue with his Pentagon counterparts, Israeli officials said.
On Monday, a top Pentagon spokesman said that the online leaks of scores of highly classified documents a "very serious" risk to national security, and senior leaders are quickly taking steps to mitigate the damage.
On Sunday, Western security experts and US officials quoted by Reuters said they suspect that the highly classified military and intelligence documents that appeared online could have been leaked by someone from the United States.
US officials told Reuters said the investigation is in its early stages and those running it have not ruled out the possibility that pro-Russian elements were behind the leak, which is seen as one of the most serious security breaches since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2013.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of the Seventh Day of Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)