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Israel removes deputy ambassador to U.S.

JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Israel's deputy ambassador to Washington has been removed from his post for leaking sensitive information to the press, senior ministry officials told Haaretz.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Haaretz that Deputy Chief of Mission Dan Arbell was relieved of his duties after admitting to the leak.

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They called Arbell's dismissal the latest episode in a witch hunt that escalated when Rafael Bartak took over as director general of the Foreign Ministry.

Barak sent a memorandum to all ministry employees in Israel and abroad Tuesday telling of his decision.

"I was forced to take a professional measure against a respected, senior, high-ranking employee and remove him from his position," ministry officials quoted the memo as reading.

It was the second time in two years that a senior diplomat was removed over alleged contacts with the press.

The Jerusalem Post said the Arbell leak occurred in 2009 and the journalist involved worked for Haaretz.

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