WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said his whistleblowing website plans to publish hundreds of “sensitive” U.S. diplomatic cables on Israel, Al-Jazeera television reported on Thursday.
“Sensitive and classified documents” on Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon and January’s assassination in Dubai of Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh would be released, Assange told Al-Jazeera in an interview.
Assange said WikiLeaks had 3,700 U.S. documents on Israel, including 2,700 originating from Israel, but denied the website had any agreement in place to spare the country of leaks. “We do not have any secret deals with any country,” he said according to an Arabic translation of remarks he made in English which were posted on Al-Jazeera’s website. “We do not have any direct or indirect contacts with the Israelis,” Assange is quoted as saying, adding no more than two percent of available documents on Israel have been released so far.
Some of Israel’s neighbors, most notably Turkey, have expressed unease at the lack of leaks the whistleblowing website has released on Israel. Following initial reaction to the first leaked U.S. Embassy cables many of which revealed diplomatic secrets about Turkey and its other neighbors, Turkish officials have started to suspect that “the main cause of these leaks was to weaken the Turkish government.”
Hüseyin Çelik, deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the party’s spokesperson, earlier this month said “Israel could have engineered the release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents on WikiLeaks as a plot to corner Turkey on both domestic and foreign policy.” Turkey and Israel have had bitter relations since the flotilla crisis, in which Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish and one American-Turkish citizen.
“One has to look at which countries are pleased with these. Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents,” Çelik said.
Israel fought a devastating one-month war with Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 that killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, and 160 Israelis, mainly soldiers. Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan has linked Israel’s spy agency Mossad to the Jan. 20 Cold War-style assassination in a Dubai hotel of Mabhuh.