Israel lauds US security ties following Trump disclosures
- Author: Rogelio Becker May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 16:37
Avigdor Lieberman says Wednesday that the security relationship is "deep, meaningful and unprecedented". That's because Israel is reportedly the source of the intelligence, through a human asset - a spy - embedded with ISIS.
In an explosive follow-up to a Washington Post article on Monday, in which it was revealed that Trump had disclosed the top-secret intel of "an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State", the New York Times on Tuesday identified Israel to be the source of the information. One official said there's now a greater risk that the source could be comprised in some way, but another said that Russian Federation wouldn't be able to identify the source based on what Trump said. A current Israeli intelligence official added: "We have to reevaluate if we should pass along information and what information we should pass along to the Americans".
Trump shared information about "terrorism and airline flight safety" in the Oval Office meeting. Trump is due to arrive in Israel next week during his first overseas trip as president.
Shavit's comments follow reports that Trump divulged highly classified intelligence to Russian diplomats during a meeting earlier this month. And one of Russia's closest allies, Iran, is one of Israel's primary rivals.
"The Israelis who attended the meeting said that the Americans advised them not to expose any sensitive sources to members of the Trump administration, lest that information reach Iranian hands, until it becomes clear that Trump does not have a compromised relationship with Russian Federation", the paper reported at the time.
Debate over whether the United States should move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem again flared, while a separate row over whether the city's Western Wall - the holiest site where Jews can pray - belongs to Israel also caused waves.
Trump's disclosure was hardly the first time a president has declassified information, nor is it the first time a US leader has failed to keep shared intelligence secret.