Israel election frontrunner Gantz dismisses report that Iran hacked his phone

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's toughest rival in Israel's upcoming parliamentary election, dismissed as 'political gossip' on Friday media reports of allegations that his mobile phone had been hacked by Iranian intelligence. The former Israeli armed forces chief was speaking near the border with Gaza following a day which saw the most serious escalation in months between Israel's military and Palestinians in the coastal enclave. 'We're in the middle of an ongoing security event...and someone's putting out a political gossip story,' Gantz said.

Reuters March 16, 2019 01:06:02 IST
Israel election frontrunner Gantz dismisses report that Iran hacked his phone

Israel election frontrunner Gantz dismisses report that Iran hacked his phone

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's toughest rival in Israel's upcoming parliamentary election, dismissed as "political gossip" on Friday media reports of allegations that his mobile phone had been hacked by Iranian intelligence.

The former Israeli armed forces chief was speaking near the border with Gaza following a day which saw the most serious escalation in months between Israel's military and Palestinians in the coastal enclave.

"We're in the middle of an ongoing security event...and someone's putting out a political gossip story," Gantz said. "I do not think Benny Gantz is the story here. There's no security issue there. No threat and no blackmail."

Israel's Channel 12 news reported on Thursday that the country's Shin Bet security services believed Iranian state intelligence had accessed the ex-general's personal information and correspondences and had informed him of the hack five weeks ago.

Gantz's centrist Blue and White party has outpaced Netanyahu's conservative Likud in polls in the run-up to the April 9 vote.

Israel and Iran, arch-enemies, have long been locked in a shadow war. "Iran attacks Israel on a daily basis," Netanyahu told a cyber-security conference in January.

Israel and the United States are widely suspected of deploying the Stuxnet malware, uncovered in 2010, and which sabotaged components of Iran’s nuclear program.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.