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Kerry's calls were 'tapped by Israel' during peace negotiations

Israeli intelligence services reportedly tapped US Secretary of State John Kerry's telephone during his efforts to broker a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis earlier this year, German magazine Der Spiegel revealed yesterday.

The publication pointed out that the Israeli intelligence and at least one other intelligence service were listening in to telephone conversations made by Kerry while he was trying to mediate between the two sides, in a development that, according the German magazine, "could further damage already tense relations between the US government and Israel".

Der Spiegel noted that "reliable sources" revealed that Kerry used encrypted phone equipment as well as normal telephones working via satellites, which were vulnerable to eavesdropping.

"The government in Jerusalem then used the information obtained in international negotiations aiming to reach a diplomatic solution in the Middle East," the German magazine said, adding that the US State Department and the Israeli government declined to comment on the reports.

Kerry has been actively working to mediate a ceasefire to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since he visited Israel last week. He has been unable to reach a long-term truce to stop the Israeli assault, which has killed 1,830 Palestinians and injured 9,370 others, mostly civilians.

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