Published: Thu, March 21, 2019

Netanyahu election rival calls for probe after phone hack

Netanyahu election rival calls for probe after phone hack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged on Wednesday that Iran could blackmail his main election rival, Benny Gantz, after hacking the former armed forces chief's phone, even as Tehran denied doing so.

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz responded Tuesday to the leaking of a recording in which he told close confidants that he would not rule out a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu, saying in a statement that the situation has changed and that he will not be willing to form a coalition with the prime minister.

However, he added, these potentials capabilities are merely aimed at meeting domestic needs, promoting the country's scientific position in the world and removing technological dependence to others.

The Israeli prime minister's office reacted to the report by stating that security officials had run checks that showed no signs of the phones having been hacked.

Blue and White has blamed Netanyahu or his allies for providing Hadashot 12 with the details on the hack against Gantz. However, reports indicate the information stolen by the Iranians did contain "compromising" data that could be used against him in the future.

Blue and White said that the phone hack story was leaked in an attempt to divert attention away from new allegations that Netanyahu may have earned millions of shekels from the so-called submarine affair.

In addition to scattering lies, Qassemi said that Israel and the U.S. are trying to "unprofessionally attribute any incident in the world to Iran by taking advantage of advertising tools". Netanyahu said. "And above all else, how would you, as prime minister, face up to Iran, our number one enemy, when Iran has sensitive information about you?" The damage is then assessed and the issue is considered a matter of "national security". "My wife supports me from here until further notice", he said.

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