The Envoy

WikiLeaks drops new tranche of U.S. Israel cables

The Envoy

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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange has released a new tranche of U.S. diplomatic cables that reveal the sensitive diplomatic consultations that Israeli officials have carried out while dealing with the volatile politics of the Middle East.

The Guardian's David Leigh and David Ball report:

Mohammed Tantawi, the head of Egypt's ruling generals, was an obstacle to Israeli efforts to stop arms smuggling within the Gaza strip, according to Israeli security forces. The assessment was privately delivered to US diplomats, alongside praise for former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman's efforts to stop weapons trafficking, according to the WikiLeaks embassy cables.

The revelations come in a tranche of the most militarily sensitive cables from the US embassy in Tel Aviv. They have been handed over to Israeli newspapers by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Hebrew-language paper Yediot this week announced a deal under which it will print an interview with Assange, who has recently had to defend WikiLeaks from accusations of antisemitism.

The cables show intimate co-operation between US and Israeli intelligence organisations. Israel's preoccupation with Iranian nuclear ambitions is well known and the US cables detail the battering on the subject that diplomats repeatedly receive from Tel Aviv.

They also shed detailed and sometimes unexpected light on Israel's military analyses of its other enemies and friends in the region. [...]

(Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council, is described in newly released WikiLeaks cables about Israel as an 'obstacle' in efforts to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza.: Nasser Nasser/EPA)

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