Israel to form committee to investigate allegations of police hacking
Israel to form committee to investigate allegations of police hacking

JERUSALEM – Israel has announced the formation of a government inquiry commission to look into allegations that police officers illegally installed spyware on the phones of officials, businesspeople, and individuals.

According to the daily Calcalist, the police used the spyware NSO's Pegasus to hack into the phones of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Avner Netanyahu and two of his close acquaintances.

Activists, journalists, civil servants, and the owner of Israel's third-largest grocery chain were also targeted, according to Calcalist. According to reports, a witness in Netanyahu's ongoing corruption trial was also purportedly tracked.

Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev tweeted that the panel, which will be led by a retired Supreme Court judge, will "examine in depth the infringement of civil rights and privacy in the years in issue."

He said, the commission would look into not only the police's use of Pegasus, but also their other issues, including as an alleged hacking into the phones of Defense Minister Benny Gantz and other lawmakers while Netanyahu was in office. "We'll figure out what's going on. We will put an end to corruption "Omer remarked. "The reports regarding Pegasus, if they are genuine, are quite serious," stated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took over from Netanyahu in June 2021.

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