Former Shin Bet Chief rebuffs eavesdropping allegations

Prime Minister Netanyahu has also denied giving such directions.
Former chief of the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Former Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen commented (Friday) on the report that claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to tap the phones of the heads of Mossad and the IDF in 2011 and denied it completely.

"I usually tend not to comment on the professional discussion conducted between a prime minister and a Shin Bet chief through the media. However, the media publications regarding directions that were allegedly given to me by the prime minister during my term as Shin Bet chief – to specifically tap the phones of Chief of Staff Gantz and Mossad chief Pardo – are wrong," Cohen said.

Earlier today, JOL reported that the Prime Minister's office has also denied the allegations, calling it "completely far-fetched" and "a complete distortion of ... efforts made from time to time in order to protect information on sensitive issues related to Israel's security." Netanyahu himself tweeted, "I never asked to eavesdrop on the IDF Chief of Staff and the Mossad Director. This is a complete lie. The liars know no limits!"

The alleged request of Netanyahu was published by the Israeli investigative reporting show Uvda on Thursday night. The report said Netanyahu had asked then-Shin Bet Director Yossi Cohen to make use of the agency's "special capabilities" in order to eavesdrop on Benny Gantz and Tamir Pardo, who had both recently taken over as the new IDF Chief of Staff and Mossad Director, respectively.



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