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NSA, GCHQ spied on Israeli diplomats, defense companies

American and British intelligence agencies spied not just on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also on Israeli diplomats, academic institutions and Israeli defense companies, Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

The French newspaper’s report is based on new information from whistleblower Edward Snowden, who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, revealing the extent of US spying around the world—including on its allies and its own citizens.

According to Le Monde, the NSA and the British GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) eavesdropped on Israeli diplomats both in Israel and abroad, private Israeli defense companies, Israeli government agencies in charge of international cooperation and research centers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem known for their high scientific level.

NSA and GCHQ databases included the phone number of a high ranking official at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as well as email addresses of Israel’s ambassadors to Kenya and Nigeria. MK Ahmad Tibi was also one of the targets.

Among the defense companies spied on was Ophir Optronics, which specializes in the field of optical fibers and laser, a field that is becoming more and more central in modern warfare.

Snowden’s documents also reveal that the American and British agencies spied on the Palestinian Authority as well, eavesdropping on former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei (known as Abu Alaa) and monitoring Palestinian diplomats in France, Belgium , Portugal , Pakistan, South Africa and Malaysia among others.

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