Obama, Netanyahu (file)
Obama, Netanyahu (file) Reuters

Likud ministers responded sharply on Wednesday morning to reports in the Wall Street Journal the day before, according to which US President Barack Obama has ordered to continue spying on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Obama's orders came despite the fact that he announced two years ago he would curtail the National Security Agency’s (NSA) eavesdropping program on friendly heads of state, with Netanyahu topping the list of those still being spied on.

"Israel does not spy on the United States, and we expected our great friend the United States to act towards us in a similar fashion," said Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) on Wednesday morning.

"If the information that was published is shown to be true, Israel should submit an official protest to the American administration, and demand that it stop all activity of this sort."

Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) also had strong words for the Obama administration in the wake of the report.

"Precisely on the background of the spying, in opposition to the official declaration that they stopped listening in on friendly states, their stubbornness on the case of (Jonathan) Pollard, the limitations on him and the refusal to bring him to Israel seem even more unacceptable," said Elkin.

Pollard was recently released after spending 30 years - half his life - in jail in the US on charges of spying for Israel by passing information about regional threats to the Jewish state. He is limited by unprecedented draconian parole conditions.

"The state of Israel does not spy on the United States since the Pollard case, and our demand is that the United States act by the same token."

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