Israel’s former head of Mossad, Danny Yatom, has said that he was not surprised by the news circulating that Washington had tapped the phones of European leaders, who are allies, saying the United States spies on everyone including Israel. Yatom told Maariv newspaper yesterday that the United States taps anyone’s phone shamelessly and without reservation.
According to Yatom, “the United States tapped and might still be tapping Israel as long as they see a need for it. The United States spies on Israel to collect more information about the negotiations with the Palestinians and Iran’s nuclear program. It is important for Washington to know what Netanyahu thinks of the negotiations and of Iran. The Americans are interested in these matters and need adequate information before talking to Israel. The United States has a desire to know Israel’s real intentions towards the Palestinian negotiations or what hampers them.”
Yatom said a retired Major General explained that “his remarks are based on previous knowledge of US spying activities on ally countries including Israel, not only during the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Yatom criticised the United States saying “it abuses its position as a world superpower, believing it is entitled to anything. However late, the United States will be forced to apologise before its allies but will continue to spy on them anyway.”
French Le Monde newspaper revealed earlier that the United States intercepted millions of calls and text messages of French people between December 2012 and January 2013. The German government announced the United States has tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, who immediately contacted U.S. President Obama, saying “spying is unacceptable between allies,” and demanding Washington sign an agreement that prohibits such acts.
The US spying scandal was leaked by former American CIA agent Edward Snowden, who worked with the agency until recently when he revealed a surveillance program used by the agency to spy on calls around the world, PRISM, to the press. A U.S. court charged Snowden with espionage, theft of government property and leaking materials harmful to U.S. national security. Snowden has been granted asylum by Russia where he currently resides.