Report: Israel tapped Kerry's phone during 'peace talks'
The German news magazine Der Spiegel is reporting that Israel tapped the phone of US Secretary of State John FN Kerry
during the 'peace talks' with the 'Palestinians' (link in German). Here's a summary in English from YNet
With the help of the
eavesdropping, Der Spiegel reports, Israeli leaders were better able to
understand Kerry's plans for his efforts during the negotiations and
prepare for them. At times, the material collected even served to help
Israel attack the US diplomat.
The author of the profile is Holger Stark, one of the magazine's
senior writers and Germany's "Journalist of the Year" in 2013. Stark
exposed the American eavesdropping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's
cell phone – which led to a severe crisis in the relations between the
Stark is the current Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Der Spiegel.
According to the profile which will be published in Monday's
paper, at the height of US-led nine-month period of negotiations Kerry
was making daily phone calls to his colleagues in the Middle East.
When he was in the United States, most of the calls were placed
from his office or – as would happen often due to the time difference –
from his home in Georgetown. Both locations have secure phone lines.
But during Kerry's numerous flights his plane was not equipped
with an encrypted phone line and the US diplomat made calls using a
regular satellite phone which Israeli intelligence – according to Der
Spiegel – managed to intercept.
According to the report, Israel was one of two countries which
eavesdropped on the phone calls but the profile of Kerry does not name
the second country.
was running the US State Department during these flights – and not only
the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians – many of the
recorded calls involved other international officials, including Russian
and Chinese leaders.
Der Spiegel notes that
the transcripts of the conversations were not kept within the Israeli
intelligence community and were passed on to the political
establishment, which employed them for its own purposes. Israel and the
US refused to respond to Der Spiegel on the matter.
Labels: John Kerry, Middle East peace process, wiretaps