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Report: Leaked documents show Israel tried to sell weapons to Syrian rebels

According to the report, hackers obtained secret documents from the computers of Israeli defence officials (AFP)
Israeli soldiers the El-Rom settlement in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on 28 June

Israeli officials tried to coordinate the transfer of weapons to Syrian opposition forces, reported Lebanese news website Al-Akhbar on Thursday.

The website, considered close to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, said the claim was based on documents it had obtained from hackers who managed to break into the computers of Israeli defence officials. Al-Akbar have not published the documents.

According to the report, the hackers acquired files, transcripts, phone numbers, addresses and secret documents.

The hackers also said they accessed the computer and tapped the phone of "the Druze official closest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Mandi Safdi, a former parliamentary aide to Ayoub Kara, a Druze Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud.

The surveillance of Safdi, which lasted several months, exposed senior Lebanese and Syrian officials as cooperating with Israel, said the report. 

According to the report, the documents also revealed an attempt by Safdi to recruit Lebanese and Syrian agents and to transfer arms to Syrian opposition groups.

The documents also pointed out coordination between Syrian opposition elements and Lebanese groups and Israel in obtaining information about Hezbollah outposts and members.

Several media reports emerging over the past few months have claimed close coordination between Israel and Syrian rebel groups. 

Last year reports by UN observers in the Golan Heights detailed regular contacts held on the border between Israeli officers and soldiers and Syrian rebels.

In February, an Arab security prisoner, Sedki al-Maket, produced a video in which he described - without showing it - a nighttime meeting between the IDF and al-Nusra commanders. The Golani activist then arranged for the video to be aired on Syrian state TV.

Fighting in the Golan Heights flared up in August when militants linked to Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front took control of the strategic Quneitra border crossing, consolidating rebel control by kicking the Syrian army out of the area and placing militants on Israel’s doorstep. 

Such incidents and the encroaching militant forces on Israel's border have heightened security measures, with some experts saying the advancements may create some changes to Israel’s policy of disengagement in the Syria crisis. 

Al-Akhbar intends to release the documents gradually, it said.