Der Spiegel: Germany Spying on Israeli Prime Minister's Office

Israel is among several countries and international agencies targeted by Germany's BND, Der Spiegel says.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, February 16, 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, February 16, 2016.Credit: AP
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

The German intelligence agency has been spying on the Israeli Prime Minister's Office for several years, Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

According to the German magazine, in addition to Israel, the BND has been spying on German allies as well as international organizations. The list of targets includes the Austrian and Belgian interior ministries, the British Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Air Force, NASA, UN agencies, the World Monetary Fund and OPEC, among others. 

The report did not specify what the espionage efforts entailed, what they sought to achieve and whether they were successful. Neither did it mention specific timeframes. 

In 2013, BND President Gerhard Schindler vowed to stop surveillance on European Union and NATO members, but according to the Der Spiegel report that commitment wasn't fulfilled.   

The German intelligence service is known for its cooperation with its Israeli counterparts on counterterrorism efforts, as well as its mediation between Israel and terror organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Several reports have emerged in recent years about allies spying on each other. In December, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. maintained National Security Agency surveillance on Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during nuclear negotiations with Iran. 

According to the report, despite vowing to freeze surveillance on allies in 2013 following the Edward Snowden leaks, the U.S. continued to eavesdrop on Netanyahu and his aides.

The 2013 Snowden leaks also indicated the U.S was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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