French PM Manuel Valls
French PM Manuel VallsIssac Harari/Flash90

Did Israeli intelligence tap into French Prime Minister Manuel Valls cellular phone and the phones of staff members during his recent trip to Jerusalem?

According to a report in the French paper L’Express, staff members joining Valls for a meeting with Israeli officials were asked to leave their cellular devices at a security check – a routine procedure, the paper wrote.

But to their astonishment, when they received their phones back they began experiencing strange technical problems never before seen.

When the Prime Minister and his staff returned to France, they submitted their phones for a security check, concerned their devices may have been bugged.

Valls’ office responded to the report saying that the security check after the trip was routine and that there was no reason to suspect wrongdoing. “France believes that allies never spy on one another.”

In Israel, the Prime Minister’s office denied the suggestion Israel had planted spy software on the French delegation’s phones.

A senior Israeli official told Arutz Sheva the L’Express article was a “ludicrous report”, and pointed out that France and Israel are on friendly terms and share intelligence information on a regular basis.