A senior Israeli official on Thursday rejected a report in Politico saying that Israel is behind the placing of eavesdropping equipment on cellphones in the White House area.
"This is a blood libel in the style of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion," the official told Kan 11 News. Like the Prime Minister, the official vehemently denied that Israel was spying on the Americans.
The White House said that they will not comment on intelligence-related issues, and so far, there has been no other confirmation of the Politico report. The fact that President Donald Trump, who usually responds sharply and quickly, chose not to punish Israel may put in question the credibility of the report, though the US administration has yet to deny the story.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied the Politico report on Thursday as he landed in Sochi where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Netanyahu said, "Lies. Complete nonsense. I have a clear directive - no intelligence collections in the US, and this directive is completely enforced."
Meanwhile, the journalist who published the report told Kan News that he stands behind the publication.
The Politico report said that an investigation by security forces in the United States has led to the suspicion that Israel is behind the placing of miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as “StingRays,” in the vicinity of the White House.
The devices in question mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information. According to Politico, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.
Based on forensic analysis, the FBI and other agencies working on the case felt confident that Israeli agents had placed the devices, according to the former officials, several of whom the report said served in top intelligence and national security posts.
However, according to one of the officials, the Trump administration took no action against Israel following the conclusions of the US security agencies.