Report: Britain spied on Israeli diplomats

A report states that British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats, the IDF, and even private Israeli companies.

Gary Willig ,

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Flag of Britain

British intelligence agencies spied on Israeli diplomats, defense firms, and the IDF, according to a report by the French daily Le Monde.

The report was based on documents procured by Edward Snowden, the US intelligence whistleblower who fled to Russia after publishing classified intelligence information in 2013.

According to Le Monde, Britain’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence agency collected data on "the second highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry."

The GCHQ also collected the email correspondence of several Israeli ambassadors, including the ambassadors to Kenya and Nigeria.

Private Israeli companies were also spied upon. The report states that the GCHQ gathered intelligence on Ophir Optronics, a fiber optics company which British intelligence believed to be tied to Israel's defense establishment.

An earlier report by the German newspaper Der Spiegel in January revealed that the GCHQ and the American intelligence agency, the NSA, had been spying on the transmissions of Israeli drones and aircraft for 18 years after cracking the IDF's encryption between air bases, fighter jets, and drones.

Britain and the US have complained in the past about alleged Israeli spying on them. In 2010, Britain expelled the Mossad station chief in London in protest for the use of 12 forged British passports in the assassination of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. In 2015 the US accused Israel of crossing 'red lines' by allegedly spying on the negotiations which led to the Iran nuclear deal.