Palestine accuses Israel of using military-grade Pegasus software for eavesdropping

WION Web Team
Jerusalem Published: Nov 11, 2021, 08:49 PM(IST)

A man walks past the logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The spying software has been detected on the phones of three officials as per the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.

Palestine has accused Israel of using military-grade Pegasus software, developed by the NSO Group, to eavesdrop on the country.

The spying software has been detected on the phones of three officials as per the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.

Ahmed al-Deek, the assistant Palestinian foreign minister for political affairs said ''We are 100% sure that these three phones were hacked.''

It has called the move a ''blatant and immoral violation of international law.''

Also read | Pegasus snooping: US blacklists spyware maker NSO Group for maliciously targetting journalists

The company sends its products abroad under licences from Israel's Defence Ministry, which has launched its own probe of the company's practices after the alleged software misuse emerged.

Earlier, an investigation by a European rights group had found that Israeli-made Pegasus spyware was used to hack the phones of staff of Palestinian civil society groups targeted by Israel. 

Israel insists the designated Palestinian groups work in collaboration with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist group labelled a terrorist organisation by many Western states.

Also read | Israel's National Security Council 'looking into' NSO Pegasus spyware allegations

Pegasus, made by the NSO company that was put on a US blacklist last week, turns phones into pocket spying devices, giving users total access to the target's phone contents without them knowing.

Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms Inc, sued NSO for an injunction and damages in October 2019, accusing it of accessing WhatsApp servers without permission six months earlier to install its Pegasus malware on victims' mobile devices.

NSO has argued that Pegasus helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies fight crime and protect national security.

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