Israel denies spy agency was involved in country’s anti-government protests

Israel on Sunday denied allegations that leaders of its Mossad intelligence service had encouraged agency staff and Israeli citizens to participate in last month’s protests against the government’s proposed judicial reforms, claims that came out of recently leaked Pentagon documents.

“The report that was published overnight in the American press is mendacious and without any foundation whatsoever. The Mossad and its senior officials did not — and do not — encourage agency personnel to join the demonstrations against the government, political demonstrations or any political activity,” the Israeli prime minister’s office posted on behalf of the Mossad.

“The Mossad and its serving senior personnel have not engaged in the issue of the demonstrations at all and are dedicated to the value of service to the state that has guided the Mossad since its founding,” the statement continued.

A number of documents have surfaced on social media in an apparent U.S. intelligence leak, according to the New York Times, including a CIA assessment that Mossad leaders encouraged agency officials to protest the new Israeli government’s judicial reforms.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed the controversial overhaul plans amid nationwide demonstrations. President Biden has urged Netanyahu to compromise with his political opponents and walk away from the proposal.

Netanyahu replied to Biden’s comments late last month, saying Israel “makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends.”

The Israel-related assessment is part of a trove of apparent Pentagon documents leaked online in recent days, though the source of the leak remains unclear, and the accuracy of all the materials is still unknown.

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