Documents from 2008 – 2009 revealed that U.K.’s intelligence agency spied on Israeli military, diplomats and firms during the Iranian election, and defined Tel Aviv as a genuine threat to stability in the Middle East, French daily Le Monde reported Wedensday.
“The Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue, ” one of the leaked top secret document said.
The French daily report based on documents leaked to Edward Snowden by former National Security Agency employee, and published at The Intercept, the news website publishing Snowden’s leaks.
British intelligence spied on Israeli military forces, email correspondence from the Israeli ambassadors to Nigeria and Kenya, a firm Ophir Optronics, a company believed to be connected to the Israeli defense establishment in the fiber optics industries, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics.
The British also monitored the Palestinian Authority, the report said, including the phones of Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his two sons, Yasser and Tarek Abbas, and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
These interceptions occurred three weeks before Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in January 2009, the newspaper suggests they may have served to aid Israel to prepare for the operation.
At the same period of time, the British agency monitored communications among the PLO secretary general and numerous Palestinian delegations, in particular those in France, Belgium, Portugal, Pakistan, South Africa and Malaysia. It also spied on Israeli Arab MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi.
The Intercept also revealed note from 2008 from the American security agency, the NSA, described the Palestinian Authority’s security forces as “no threat to the United States or its allies…and these forces are frequently the best informed on violence in the region.”
One more NSA document from April 18, 2013 said “the great closeness of the NSA dating back to the 1980s with the Electronic Warfare Directorate, Jordan’s technical secret services. The two cooperate on priority targets and the Jordanians provide a large portion of the names of individuals targeted by the NSA in the region.”
Information reported in January by The Intercept and the German newspaper, Der Spiegel say that the NSA had unraveled the code for communications between Israeli military planes, drones and bases and monitored them for 18 years.
According to Le Monde a doc from March 2009 GCHQ communication read: “Problems with Ruffle (the code name for the ISNU). Ruffle cancels work sessions at the last minute. Requests for apologies made at the highest level are not answered.”
Both ally countries The U.s and Britain reportedly have used this access to spy Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip, watch for a potential strike on Iran and keep tabs on drone technology that Israel exports.