Report: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Called Netanyahu to Renew Spyware Agreement


Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly called then-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to have the kingdom’s license to use controversial Israeli spyware renewed, the New York Times reports.

NSO has been under fire recently for allowing its Pegasus spyware to be used by numerous governments, including dictatorships, for purposes of “fighting crime and terrorism.”

Many critics say that instead of using the spyware for positive things, many governments have instead used Pegasus to track and spy on dissidents and enemies of the state.

When Saudi Arabia’s license to use the controversial Pegasus spyware, the Israeli defense establishment declined to renew it. Officials said Saudi Arabia had used Pegasus to track journalist Jamaal Khashoggi ahead of his murder by kingdom agents.

The Crown Prince, desperate to get the license renewed, placed a direct call to Netanyahu, asking for Saudi Arabia’s license to be renewed in exchange for the kingdom opening its airspace to Israeli flights.

Saudi Arabia opened its airspace as part of the Abraham Accords deal, allowing Israeli flights to access countries that were signatories to the deal.

After the call, Netanyahu reportedly ordered the defense establishment to renew Saudi Arabia’s license, despite the disapproval and misgivings of many.

Netanyahu’s office has denied the report.

“The claim that [then-]Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to foreign leaders and offered them these systems in exchange for a political achievement or some other achievement is a complete lie,” the statement said.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)