Israel spied on Kerry during peace talks
BERLIN – Israel eavesdropped on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during doomed peace talks with the Palestinians last year, the German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
The article said the Israelis and at least one other secret service listened in on Kerry’s conversations as he tried to mediate, in a development that Der Spiegel said was likely to further strain ties between Israel and the United States.
Kerry regularly spoke by telephone with high-ranking officials throughout the Middle East during the negotiations that finally collapsed earlier this year.
Spiegel, which cited “several sources among secret services,” said that he used not only secure lines but also normal telephones with satellite connections which were vulnerable to tapping.
“The government in Jerusalem used this information in the negotiations on a diplomatic solution in the Middle East,” it said.
Spiegel said Kerry’s office and the Israeli government declined to comment on its report.
Kerry made reviving Middle East diplomacy a central priority at the start of his term and coaxed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas back to the negotiating table in July 2013.
But in April this year, Israel made a surprise announcement of plans for 700 new settlements and refused to free a last batch of Palestinian prisoners after earlier releases. Abbas in turn sought Palestinian membership in 15 U.N. conventions and the peace drive eventually broke down.
Kerry has attempted to mediate during the current Israeli military offensive in Gaza and flew to Israel last week.
But he has failed to bring about a lasting truce in the 26-day confrontation that has claimed more than 1,700 lives.
You may be interested
Costa Rican entrepreneur launches swimwear line to empower womenElizabeth Lang - May 24, 2018
María Luisa Mendiola is a young Costa Rican woman living in New York who’s all about creating change in everything…
Costa Rica dismantles international drug trafficking ringAFP - May 24, 2018
Costa Rican authorities dismantled an international cocaine trafficking ring that used fishing boats on the country's southern Pacific coast. The…
Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwideMitzi Stark - May 23, 2018
The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…