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Bloggers: WikiLeaks, Israel strike deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures as he leaves Beccles Police station in Suffolk, England December 17, 2010. Assange said on Friday that he was the target of an aggressive U.S. investigation and feared extradition to the United States was "increasingly likely".- REUTERS
A number of bloggers believe Israel and WikiLeaks appear to have reached a secret deal on the website's release of US diplomatic cables.

(December 18, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) They say Israel is behind the publication of diplomatic cables in an attempt to further its own interests.

"Where is the real dirt on Israel?" question some of the bloggers.

"The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between WikiLeaks' ... Assange ... with Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were 'removed' before the rest were made public," wrote Gordon Duff, an editor of the anti-war website Veterans Today.

"It sticks out like a sore thumb that WikiLeaks is obviously concocted by an intelligence agency. It's a ham-handed action by Israel to do its public relations," Duff told Ha'aretz newspaper.

Some allege that the secret deal between WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange and Israel's spy agency, Mossad, was struck in Geneva.

Under the agreement, Assange assured Tel Aviv that he would not publish any documents that "may harm Israeli interests," wrote Al Haqiqa, an Arabic language webzine - a magazine published on internet.

An anonymous blogger on IndyMedia writes that Israel knew about cables on its wars on Lebanon and Gaza.

"The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively," the unknown blogger wrote.

"These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the American embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, were removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents," the sources added.

Israel has benefited from the alleged US documents, released by WikiLeaks, Turkey's Interior Minister Besir Atalay said earlier this month.

"It seems to us that the country which ... is not mentioned much, especially in the Middle East, or which this development seems to favor is Israel," Atalay said.

WikiLeaks was founded by Assange in 2006 with the motto of "keep governments open." It describes its objectives as bringing "important news and information to the public."

The site claims it has released more than 1.2 million documents so far and is preparing to release more than two million other documents.

WikiLeaks most important release is arguably a video showing US troops aboard a helicopter opening fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians -- including Reuters' cameramen.

The 39-year-old Australian walked free from a British jail on Thursday after he was granted bail by the London court on Tuesday.

Assange was taken into custody last week after he surrendered to London police following his arrest warrant.

He is wanted in Sweden for allegations of sexual offences which he says are politically motivated.

Activists say bringing sexual offense charges against Assange by Swedish officials is an excuse to pave the way for his extradition to the US where officials are keen to prosecute him for the release of secret diplomatic cables, which have proved scandalous for Washington.

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