SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 July 2021, Monday |

Liberals in Israeli government to discuss NSO spyware with defence minister

A liberal party in Israel’s governing coalition said on Monday it would ask the Defense Ministry about exports of Israeli spyware that media reports have linked to hacking of phones of journalists, civil servants, and rights activists worldwide.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, head of the Meretz party and a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s decision-making security cabinet, told reporters he would meet Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday to discuss the exports by NSO Group.

The Defense Ministry, which licenses the exports, did not immediately comment.

An investigation by 17 media organizations published on Sunday said NSO’s spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and rights activists. Reuters was not able to verify the accusations independently.