Report: Israel spied on Kerry during peace talks
A recent report shows Israel spied on US Secretary of State John Kerry during failed talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
According to German weekly Der Spiegel, Israelis and at least one other secret service eavesdropped on Kerry’s phone conversations as he tried to resume the so-called peace talks last year.
Kerry made daily phone calls to his colleagues in the Middle East at the height of the US-brokered talks between Israel and the PA. Israel could not intercept his calls when he was in the US as most of the calls were made either from his office or his home, both of which have secure phone lines.
But, Israeli spies recorded Kerry’s calls during his numerous flights because his plane was not equipped with an encrypted phone line and the top US official had to use a regular satellite phone.
As the US Secretary of State, Kerry also made calls to other international officials – including Russian and Chinese leaders – during his flights and the intercepted calls involve those conversations.
Following the collapse of talks between Israel and the PA, the US said a big share of blame for the failure of the talks goes to Tel Aviv due to its illegal settlement activities.
A Daily Beast report also said in April that Kerry warned Israel could become “an apartheid state” if the talks with the PA would fail. However, the US diplomat denied the report after he came under attack from pro-Israel lobby groups in the US.
Recently, Kerry was also sharply criticized in the Israeli press after he put forward a ceasefire plan following Israel’s bloody offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip which has left over 1,700 Palestinians dead and thousands injured.
He was called in the Israeli press a "bull in a china shop," and an "amateur who thinks he can solve the world's problems with his presence alone."
In a series of reports earlier this year, Newsweek magazine wrote about a number of espionage activities by Israel against the US.
In one of the articles, the magazine broke the story of an Israeli spy that hid 16 years ago in an air duct of the hotel room of Vice President Al Gore, detailing how US officials quickly hushed up the spying incident after they learned about it “because it was done by Israel.”
Citing US intelligence officials, Newsweek said Tel Aviv’s espionage activities against the US have “crossed red lines.”