Did Netanyahu ask to tap the phone of the Mossad chief?

Television report claims Netanyahu instructed the Shin Bet to tap the phones of the former Mossad chief and IDF Chief of Staff.

Yoni Kempinski,

Tamir Pardo
Tamir Pardo
Courtesy of Uvda, Channel 12

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requested an unprecedented move against the former head of the Mossad and the former IDF Chief of Staff, according to a report on the Uvda television program, which airs on Channel 12, on Thursday evening.

According to the program, in Benny Gantz’s and Tamir Pardo’s first months in office, Netanyahu approached the then-head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Yoram Cohen, and asked him to tap the phones of a number of people, including the Chief of Staff and the head of the Mossad.

Officials in the Defense Ministry, who also received information about the Prime Minister’s unusual request, said the Shin Bet chief was shocked by the possibility that the Shin Bet would have to listen to his two colleagues. As such, he refused the Prime Minister's request.

Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said, "I do not want to believe that in the State of Israel, which is a democratic state, the Prime Minister will ask the head of the Shin Bet to tap the phone of the Chief of Staff or myself. If he doesn’t believe in us, he can force us to resign within ten minutes."

"To tap a phone is the biggest show of distrust ever. I never asked to tap the phone of anyone in the Mossad. Never. I never thought of it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not part of the game," Pardo said.

The Prime Minister's Office said in response: "The claim that the Prime Minister asked the head of the Shin Bet security service to tap the phones of the Chief of Staff and the head of the Mossad is utterly baseless. This is a total distortion of systemic efforts that are made from time to time to safeguard sensitive information related to Israel's security. The decision on which means to use and which factors is in the hands of the competent authorities.”



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