Cohen and Netanyahu
Cohen and NetanyahuGPO

The former chief of Israel’s internal security agency denied a recent report which claimed the Prime Minister had requested that his agency wiretap two senior security officials in 2011.

A report aired on Channel 12 Thursday night claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approached the then-head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Yoram Cohen, in 2011 and asked him to tap the phones of a number of people, including the Chief of Staff and the head of the Mossad.

"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,” said former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo. “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 added.

The Prime Minister’s Office denied the claim, calling the Channel 12 report “utterly baseless”.

On Friday, Netanyahu took to Facebook to add his own response, calling the report “A total lie”.

“This is a total lie. There is no end to the lies!

“I never asked to wiretap the [IDF] Chief of Staff or the head of the Mossad.”

Later on Friday, Channel 10 reported that Cohen himself had denied the claim by Channel 12.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu did not ask me to wiretap then-Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and then-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. I was shocked to see the [Channel 12] report. It was just total nonsense.”