Report: Israeli Spies Intercepted Kerry's Phone Calls

Image: Report: Israeli Spies Intercepted Kerry's Phone Calls (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 09:12 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Israeli intelligence agents eavesdropped on Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace negotiations last year, the German publication Spiegel reported.

At least one other country intercepted Kerry’s phone calls as he attempted to mediate an agreement between Israel and the Palestine Authority, sources told the publication.

The allegations are likely to heighten tensions between the United States and Israel after Kerry was accused by Israelis of backing a plan that appeared to favor Hamas in the current month-long conflict with the Palestinians in Gaza.

During the peace talks last year, Kerry spoke regularly with several high-ranking partners in the Middle East on normal phones. The signals were intercepted while being transmitted unencrypted via satellite, Spiegel said.

Israeli intelligence listened in on the calls, and then government officials in Jerusalem used the information to attempt to get a better deal during the diplomatic process. The talks eventually fell apart when Hamas joined the Palestine Authority in late March, leading to the current deadly conflict in Gaza.

Israeli spying came to light as the State Department attacked Israel for its missile attack over the weekend that hit a humanitarian facility sheltering 3,000 people in Gaza, who had been forced to leave their homes during the fighting, the Fox News said.

The department’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said the United States was “appalled” by the attack, which is said to have killed 10 Palestinian civilians, according to Fox News.

“We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties,” she said.

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