WASHINGTON – Israeli diplomats stationed in the United States was surprised to discover that Israel was one of 36 countries included in a new Homeland Security terror watch list.
The list, which was attached to a May 10 document from the DHS Inspector General's office, also included a number of other close US allies such as Turkey, Bahrain, Morocco and Philippines.
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John Morton, director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the department, said Israel's appearance on the list was a mistake.
"The addition of Israel to the list… was based on inaccurate information provided to the OIG during the course of its audit," Morton told JTA. "The US does not and never has considered Israel to have links to terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global terrorism.
"The United States maintains close intelligence-sharing relationships with Israel in order to address security issues within its own borders and in our mutual pursuit of safety and security around the globe."
News agencies contributed to this report
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