Former Shin Bet Director MK Avi Dichter (Likud) slammed ex-Mossad head Tamir Pardo after his explosive tell-all interview on Thursday, contending that Pardo's revelations constituted an unacceptable leak of classified information.
On Thursday, Pardo gave a wide-ranging interview to journalist Ilana Dayan from the Uvda investigative program. During the sit-down, Pardo talked about the Mossad operation to systematically assassinate Iranian atomic scientists and revealed that Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered him to prepare a plan attacking Iran in 2011.
According to Dichter, the interview was a breach of the guidelines governing the handling and classified information and alleged that a former deputy Mossad chief had been fired from his post for leaking sensitive material to the press.
"The heads of the different branches in the Shin Bet and the Mossad are very angry over this interview, even if it passed the censor," said Dichter told 1013FM on Sunday.
"After this interview, my cell phone was flooded with messages from people who I haven't heard from for 20 years, including heads of different departments...not so long ago, the deputy head of the Mossad was removed from his position after leaking to the media. Tamir knows this incident well."
Dichter was likely referring to Naftali Granot, who was allegedly fired by then-Mossad head Meir Dagan for passing sensitive material to Haaretz reporter Amir Oren. Granot had been caught after Dagan ordered his phone wiretapped.
"It is worth noting that the people who invested their best years for the State of Israel will write a book, but the distance between them and the details revealed in Uvda on Thursday is huge," Dichter added. "Throughout my many years of experience, the security establishment leaked material that endangered the lives of fighters, which the public does not know about."
The Uvda program had caused a firestorm after alleging that during then-Chief of Staff Benny Gantz’s and Tamir Pardo’s first months in office, Netanyahu approached the then-head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Yoram Cohen, and asked him to tap the phones of a number of people, including the Chief of Staff and the head of the Mossad.
Officials in the Defense Ministry, who also received information about the Prime Minister’s unusual request, said the Shin Bet chief was shocked by the possibility that the Shin Bet would have to listen to his two colleagues. As such, he refused the Prime Minister's request.
However, Yoram Cohen denied the report, saying in statement on Friday that "the publications in the media about supposed instructions that the prime minister gave me when I was serving as head of the Shin Bet – to listen in specifically to the phones of Chief of Staff Gantz and Mossad head Pardo – are untrue".