The Israel Defense forces conducted internal investigations on 10 IDF executives and almost 1200 soldiers on the 2021 information leak to the Wall Street Journal about Israeli attacks on Iranian ships. The Movement for Quality Government in Israel had initially requested the government to run a criminal investigation on how the leak occurred, but the State Attorney had declined.
According to the WSJ report, US and a few regional officials believed that Israel had attacked a dozen vessels en route to Syria, with water mines utilized in some cases. Majority of the attacked vessels carried Iranian oil and were targeted because of Israeli concerns of petroleum profits funding extremism in the Middle East.
The very first hint of the leak being orchestrated by an Israeli source, was given by the Movement of Quality Government when they released a statement and document addressing the issue. Before this, no claims or official comments from Israeli officers were made after the Journal published the report.
As per the Jerusalem Post, Shin Bet and Mossad together with IDF relayed the news of the incident to the State Attorney and IDF even cautioned against severe possible damage to the country's security interests. Fortunately, there were no signs of any actual damage reported later.
When asked about the refusal on conducting an examination, the State Attorney responded that there were multiple reasons which made it difficult to open the criminal investigation. The major ones being the inability to figure out the exact number of people who were aware of the confidential information and any possible damage to the national security.
According to the IDF, approximately 1,200 soldiers were aware of the classified high-risk operation and out of them only 450 had signed a confidentiality agreement. However, there were also individuals from other agencies and organizations that were exposed to the secrets of about the operations. No proper estimations on the exact number of the people could be made, even the Mossad did not have much idea about it.
"It is very doubtful if an investigation that would be opened would lead to suspects or significant evidence, and it seems that the large number of people from the various organizations that were part of an operation like this who were exposed to the secret, without orderly registration or documentation of who was exposed to the secret, leads to the conclusion that the chances of such an investigation are low," wrote the State Attorney.
The Movement is very clear on its stance to demand investigations over those who "preferred their political good over the security of Israel" and stated that they will appeal to the High Court if anymore complications arise.
According to Israeli news media, the individual who passed on the secret details about the operation to the reporter had asked him to wait until after the attack occurred to publish the story.