WikiLeaks to release more Israel cables
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WikiLeaks to release more Israel cables

JERUSALEM (JTA) — WikiLeaks will release sensitive leaked diplomatic cables regarding Israel in the coming months, its founder said.

Julian Assange told Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that his website will release top secret letters dealing with the 2006 Second Lebanon War and the assassination of a high-level Palestinian official in Dubai suspected to have been carried out by the Mossad, among other Israel-related cables.

Assange claims to have about 3,700 files related to Israel, most from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

He reportedly told Al-Jazeera that few documents involving Israel have been published because the newspapers to which he gave exclusive rights were unwilling to print sensitive information about Israel.

Assange said he was certain that Israeli intelligence is monitoring WikiLeaks closely and denied any deal between Israel and WikiLeaks to keep information on Israel private.

Meanwhile, leaked diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed that New Zealand’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Israel following a botched Mossad operation was an attempt to increase trade with the Arab world.

According to the cables, former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Charles Swindells said Wellington had "little to lose" by acting against Israel "and possibly something to gain in the Arab world … actively pursuing trade with Arab states." In another cable Swindells said the Kiwis saw the "flap" as "an opportunity to bolster its credibility with the Arab community, and by doing so, perhaps help NZ lamb and other products gain greater access to a larger and more lucrative market.”

Labor Party leader Phil Goff, the foreign minister in 2004 when the scandal broke, denied the allegations this week.

In July 2004, two Mossad agents were caught trying to obtain a New Zealand passport fraudulently, triggering a diplomatic meltdown between the two countries. They were jailed and later repatriated to Israel.

Israel apologized in 2005 for “the incident with the Mossad” and normal diplomatic relations were restored.

In denying the allegations, Goff said the government’s suspension of all high-level diplomatic relations between Wellington and Jerusalem was "a measured, appropriate and effective reaction” that had “nothing to do with trade.”