WikiLeaks will release top secret American files concerning Israel in the next six months, its founder Julian Assange disclosed yesterday.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Assange said only a meagre number of files related to Israel had been published so far, because the newspapers in the West that were given exclusive rights to publish the secret documents were reluctant to publish many sensitive information about Israel.
“There are 3,700 files related to Israel and the source of 2,700 files is Israel. In the next six months we intend to publish more files depending on our sources,” said Assange in the nearly one-hour interview telecast live from the UK.
Asked if Israel had tried to contact him though mediators, Assange said, “No, no contacts with Israel but I am sure Mossad is following our activities closely like Australia, Sweden and the CIA.
“The Guardian, El-Pais and Le Monde have published only two percent of the files related to Israel due to the sensitive relations between Germany, France and Israel. Even New York Times could not publish more due to the sensitivities related to the Jewish community in the US,” he added.
Excerpts from the interview:
An Arabic newspaper called Al Haqeeq conducted an interview with one of your former colleagues who said you have a deal with Israel not to publish these secret files.
This is not true. We have been accused as agents of Iran and CIA by this former colleague who was working for Germany in the past and was dismissed from his job after we published American military documents related to Germany.
We were the biggest institution receiving official funding from the US but after we released a video tape about killing people in cold blood in Iraq in 2007, the funding stopped and we had to depend on individuals for finance.
When will you publish the files related to Israel on your website?
We will publish 3700 files and the source is the American embassy in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Netanyahu was traveling to Paris to talk to the US ambassador there. You will see more information about that in six months.
Do these Israeli files speak about the July 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon?
Yes there is some information about that and these files were classified as top secret.
Is there any relation with these files and the assassination of Hamas military leader Al Mabhoh in Dubai?
Yes there are some indication to this and may be some special reports published by newspapers. Mossad agents used Australian, British and European passports to travel to Dubai and there are diplomatic files about that.
Are there any security service companies providing information to international airports and monitoring passengers even in the Arab countries?
There are some files about American and Israeli security companies that tried to intervene in certain areas. For example, in Brazil, the American embassy put some Israeli security companies during the Olympic Games.
Are there any files about agencies providing intelligence information about famous personalities in the Arab world?
I am not sure about that but there are files about Hezbollah in Lebanon. In one of these files Lebanon government complained against cables passing near the French embassy. American are always very much worried about the telecommunications network.
Are there any files about Israeli agents in the Arab world including some Arab royal palaces?
Most of the files related to Mossad are classified as top secret but there may be some files related to the role of Mossad in killing Lebanese military leader in Damascus by sniper bullets.
There 2,500 files related to Mossad and I have read only 1000. So I don’t know about everythiong, I need more journalists including Arabs to read and analyse and put everything in the context for the benefit of the readers.
We have 17,000 files where the word Qatar has been mentioned, the source of 3,000 of these files is the American embassy in Doha.
What is the most interesting file about Qatar that was not published?
There is a lot to be read. The name of Waddah Khanfar has been mentioned in 504 files. Some of these files have been published by The Guardian.
How do the Americans view Al Jazeera in these files?
There were some meetings between people from Al Jazeera and the US embassy where the latter suggested coverage of certain things in a certain way.
There are files about a TV channel in Dubai which the Americans said can be used against Al Jazeera and when this channel tried to move in the American direction, people stopped watching it.
The Americans despite having a base here were angry about the presence of an Iranian bank in Qatar but Qatar said it would not close it but would not open new banks. Despite that this bank established many more branches in Doha. Qatar is trying to create a balance between the Arab world and the America.
The Americans appreciate having their largest base in Doha but Qatar does not agree with all American requirements and Al Jazeera is a good example for that. Peninsula