After Iran’s successful hacking into the smartphone of former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, as reported, an urgent meeting is being called for the Intelligence Subcommittee.
Members of the subcommittee on Intelligence & Secret Services, MK Amir Ochana, approached the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, MK Avi Dichter, stating, “This week we reported that the ISA (Israel Security Agency/Shin Bet) informed Benny Gantz that Iranian intelligence had broken into his mobile phone and obtained its contents, because this is the first and unprecedented case in the history of the State of Israel in which intelligence from an enemy state holds sensitive information about a person who is a candidate to become prime minister – I am asking for a closed session of the Subcommittee on Intelligence & Secret Services in order to understand:
1. What materials are in the hands of Iranian intelligence?
2. What are the implications of holding sensitive intelligence, both personal and security, on a candidate for prime minister by intelligence bodies of an enemy state?
3. Whether and how the defense establishment can protect a candidate who has been blackmailed or is extorted by a foreign hostile regime at any given moment using the same information.
4. If the various systems respond to the latter question, it will be impossible to protect against sensitive information leaked – what steps should be taken from a parliamentary perspective, such as the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee.
In view of the security and public implications, I would like to hold the discussion urgently.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)