Washington has warned its ally Israel of potential embarrassment from the expected release of US diplomatic cables on whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, an Israeli newspaper said on Thursday.
A senior Israeli official, quoted in Haaretz, said it has been informed that WikiLeaks plans to release hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, some of which could include confidential reports from the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
“The Americans said they view the leak very seriously,” he told the paper, on condition of anonymity.
“They don’t know when they will be released on the Internet and what exactly they say, but they didn’t want us to read about it in the newspapers,” the Israeli official said.
Embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer, contacted by AFP, declined to comment except to say that such leaks could put lives at risk.
“The cables date from the past five years and include media reports, talks with politicians, government officials and journalists, as well as evaluations and various analyses by American diplomats regarding their host countries,” according to Haaretz.
Yigor Palmor, spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, said the ministry did not comment in public on diplomatic exchanges.
The State Department said on Wednesday that US embassies around the world had “begun the process of informing governments that a release of documents is possible in the near future.”
“These revelations… are going to create tensions on our relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.
WikiLeaks has not said what will be contained in its coming release, indicating only it will be “seven times” the Iraq War logs in which it posted 400,000 secret documents.