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
Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in QueposElizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017
The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…
Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El SalvadorAFP - December 10, 2017
Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…
6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seenLindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017
The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…