(MEE) According to leaked documents released by Edward Snowden, British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and military officials in 2008 and 2009, the French newspaper Le Monde and Israel’s Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
One of the files from 2009 said that “Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus defined Israel as ‘a true threat’ to the Middle East”.
“The Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue,” the file said.
The UK spy agency gathered data on the “second-highest ranking official in the Israeli foreign ministry”, who went unidentified by Le Monde and Haaretz. The two outlets also said that the UK gathered surveillance on the Palestinian Authority.
GCHQ tapped the phone of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in December 2008, weeks before Israel launched an offensive the following month.
GCHQ also monitored emails between Israel’s ambassadors to Kenya and Nigeria and the private Israel defence company Ophir Optronics.
During those two years, the UK spied on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s secretary general and several Palestinian diplomatic delegations, including former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei and Israeli-Palestinian parliamentarian Dr Ahmad Tibi.
The documents were released by Edward Snowden, the 33-year-old who is wanted in the US to face trial on charges brought under the Espionage Act after he leaked thousands of classified documents in 2013 revealing the vast US surveillance of private data put in place after the 11 September 2001 attacks.
This article (Snowden Leak: British Intelligence Calls Israel “True Threat” to Middle East) by MEE staff originally appeared on MiddleEastEye.net and was used with permission. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Facebook. If you spot a typo, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us