The government denies allegations in leaked documents that its intelligence service encouraged Israelis to join mass demonstrations.
The Israeli government has rejected allegations raised in documents allegedly leaked from the Pentagon that leaders of its foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, have supported protests across the country against a proposed reform of Israel’s judiciary.
The New York Times published on Saturday an assessment attributed to a central intelligence update from March 1 that Mossad leadership encouraged its employees and Israeli citizens to join the mass protests. The newspaper said that although the leaked documents appear to be authentic, that does not mean they are accurate.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Sunday that the report was “completely false and baseless.”
She added, “The Mossad and its senior officials did not encourage and did not encourage members of the apparatus to join demonstrations against the government, political demonstrations, or any political activity.”
Netanyahu’s plans for judicial reform have sparked unprecedented public outrage since his coalition of far-right and religious parties took power late last year, and alarmed Israel’s Western allies.
The proposed legislation would enable Parliament to override Supreme Court decisions and monitor judicial appointments.
After weeks of intensified demonstrations, Netanyahu relented in late March and said he would delay contested reforms to allow for talks with opposition parties.
On Friday, the US Department of Justice said it was in contact with the Department of Defense and launched an investigation into the alleged leak of the documents, which cover several national security topics. She declined to comment.
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