Air vent (illustration)
Air vent (illustration)Thinkstock

Israel vigorously denied over the Sabbath that it tried to spy on former vice president Al Gore when he was in Israel.

Newsweek cited a senior former U.S. intelligence operative who claimed that “a Secret Service agent who was enjoying a moment of solitude in Gore’s bathroom” before Gore arrived at his Jerusalem hotel room heard a metallic scraping sound. “The Secret Service had secured [Gore’s] room in advance and they all left except for one agent, who decided to take a long, slow time on the pot,” the operative told Newsweek. “So the room was all quiet, he was just meditating on his toes, and he hears a noise in the vent. And he sees the vent clips being moved from the inside. And then he sees a guy starting to exit the vent into the room.”

Did the agent scramble for his gun? No, the former operative said with a chuckle. “He kind of coughed and the guy went back into the vents.”

Former Israeli Military Intelligence head, Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, said Saturday evening that the allegation is “delusional.”

"Newsweek is relying on anonymous testimony with historic stories from the War of Independence,” he told Channel 2. The story about an agent hiding in an air duct sounds like it was taken from “50 years ago,” he said. “Anyone familiar with today's intelligence aganecies knows that they do not work like that.”

Yadlin stated categorically that Israel has not been spying on the United States since the Pollard affair and he added that he spoke with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan before the interview, and that Dagan corroborated this.

He added that he has friends who are senior officials in the US intelligence establishment and that he expects them to either come out publicly and deny the allegations, or alternatively, prove that they are true.