Report: Israel eavesdropped on Kerry during peace talks

 

Israeli intelligence agents eavesdropped on Secretary of State John Kerry during the peak of peace negotiations he led between Israel and the Palestinians last year, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

Israel and at least one other intelligence service intercepted some phone calls Kerry made to high-ranking negotiating partners in the Middle East, the report said. Der Spiegel did not identify the other intelligence service.

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Kerry made the phone calls on normal phones, which are transmitted via satellite, and not encrypted, Der Spiegel said.

The Israeli government used the information it collected from the phone calls during peace talks, it added, which Kerry first revived in July 2013, and collapsed by the deadline in late April. 

Der Spiegel said it learned about the intercepted phone calls from “reliable sources” that the news outlet did not identify further. Both the State Department and Israel declined to respond to Der Spiegel's requests for comment. 

The report comes after some Israeli media recently reported that Israeli officials accused Kerry of “capitulating” to Hamas in negotiations to strike a cease-fire agreement for the current conflict. 

Obama administration officials have defended Kerry, with President Obama even saying on Friday that he has “endured very unfair criticism.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, reportedly told Kerry “not to ever second guess me again," sources told The Associated Press.