US officials 'warn Israelis against sharing intelligence with Trump'
Israeli intellignce officials have reportedly been cautioned by their US counterparts over sharing sensitive information with the incoming administration of Donald Trump, an investigation by Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported Thursday.
According to the report, American intelligence officials implied that their Israeli allies should "be careful" when transferring information to the Washington, so long as the exact nature of Trump's ties with Russia remains unclear.
The concern in Israel is that confidential information, which is regularly shared with Washington, may be leaked from the US to Russia and eventually to Iran.
According to the report, US officials expressed their fears about the Trump administration in a recent meeting with their Israeli counterparts.
The Americans reportedly said they believe that Moscow has "leverages of pressure" on the president-elect, echoing widespread reports on Wednesday that Valadimir Putin may be holding compromising information about the incoming US president.
Concerns about Trump's relationship with Moscow have intensified in recent days leading up to the business tycoon's inauguration.
On Wednesday, Trump attacked claims that
his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the US election, and allegations that Russia has compromising information about him.
"It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen," he said, referring to allegations of lurid behavior in a Moscow hotel room.
"It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together," Trump said.
While many rightwingers in Israel have eagerly anticipated Trump's entry to the White House, recent allegations against the president-elect may present a more uncomfortable aspect of the future US-Israel relationship that will have to be sriously considered.
Israel currently shares sensitive information with the US about various matters related to its regional rival Iran, particularly about its clandestine activity against Tehran.
This may disrupt two decades of intensified cooperation between US and Israeli intelligence officials, who have collaorated over key issues, including the disruption of Iran's nuclear program.