The recent leaks to the press from Security Cabinet deliberations should be investigated by the Shin Bet, "and the first one who should be questioned is the prime minister," Opposition chairman Shaul Mofaz said Thursday.
"Leaks from the Security Cabinet meetings dealing with the holy of holies and State secrets are the epitome of irresponsibility," he added. "He who heads the forum should be interrogated first. He should be asked: Did you brief members of the press on confidential political or military maneuvers in the past few weeks?"
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"The security of the state and of its citizens depends on the ability to have confidential and in-depth discussions in the security cabinet ... someone severely damaged the trust that Israel's citizens put in this forum," Netanyahu told the group, according to a statement from the prime minister's office.
"I have a responsibility toward the citizens of Israel and the security of the state, and therefore I am breaking up this meeting," Netanyahu said.
'Nothing against the press.' Netanyahu (Photo: Gettyimages)
The PM added that Israel's security "depends on the ability to hold classified and wide-ranging discussions in the political-security cabinet. That is where all of the facts, opinions and ramifications are presented.
"I have nothing to say against the media, it's doing its job. I do have something to say about whoever broke the very basic trust required for (discussing) Israel's security matters, and who has damaged the capability of holding classified discussions. I have a responsibility to the citizens of Israel for the country's security and therefore I am cutting this meeting short," he said.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Thursday he would support Netanyahu if the PM would order polygraph tests for all those who took part in Tuesday’s security cabinet meeting.
"We cannot allow a situation whereby information from secret meetings is leaked, and the person who is responsible should be held accountable," the minister added.
A senior official who took part in Tuesday's meeting said the ministers discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, among other burning issues. "The information presented to the Cabinet was very disturbing, but it wasn’t too daunting," he told Ynet.
According to the official who spoke with Ynet, while the information Israel has on Iran's progress is troubling "It's not scary. The Iranians are relentlessly pursuing nuclear activities and they're not slowing down.
"They are holding their own vis-à-vis the international pressure, but on the other hand, they're not running wild," he said.