Israel listens to every Palestinian telephone conversation in Gaza and the West Bank

Israel listens to every Palestinian telephone conversation in Gaza and the West Bank

Israel can listen to every Palestinian telephone conversation in the West Bank and Gaza by planting bugs in the phone, a former member of the Israeli Army's elite 8200 signal intelligence unit told Middle East Eye.

Ummatimes - Every cell phone or phone imported into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing is planted with Israeli bugs, and anyone using the only two mobile networks serving the occupied territories, Jawwal and Wataniya, is being monitored as well, a former member of Israel's signal intelligence said.

At any given time, hundreds of soldiers listened to the conversation that was being carried out. Audio monitoring is divided into two groups. The first are Palestinians who are politically active or who represent a security threat in Israel's view. The second level of monitoring is used by the Shin Bet, the domestic security service to find "pressure points" in Palestinian society.

"Maybe find gays who can be pressured to report their relatives, or find a man who is cheating on his wife. Finding someone who owes someone, say, means he can be contacted and offered money to pay his debts in exchange for his cooperation," the army veteran said. quoted from Middle East Eye, 15 November 2021.

"This is a world where the Shin Bet can gain power over the Palestinians, ultimately forcing them to collaborate or reveal things about other people, and that's all part of the control system," he said.

The revelations came after reports of six Palestinian human rights activists' cellphones being hacked using Pegasus software belonging to Israeli cyber-monitoring firm NSO Group, according to an independent investigation published Monday by the University of Toronto and Amnesty International.

Then a Washington Post newspaper report revealed Blue Wolf, facial recognition technology Israel uses to alert soldiers at checkpoints to detain suspects.

The work of this mass surveillance system is carried out by Israeli Jewish soldiers who learn Arabic as part of their military service. They were watched over by Druze soldiers or Jewish soldiers of Syrian descent whose mother tongue was Arabic. They copied the conversation, the text of which was translated and sent to the army intelligence unit and forwarded to the Shin Bet.

The former intelligence officer said there was no limit to Israel's ability to invade Palestinian private and public life.

"Sometimes what is bugged is private conversation, maybe even intimate conversation. People in the military will laugh when they hear sex talk. Soldiers save conversations and send them to their friends. This is a very harsh invasion of the privacy of every Palestinian. who live there," he said.

The recent revelations about Pegasus Spyware and Blue Wolf are nothing new for Palestinians growing up under constant surveillance.

Israel is under increasing international pressure for its use of spyware.

The US government has blacklisted the Israeli company NSO Group, which makes the Pegasus spyware, after cybersecurity campaigners obtained a leaked database of 50,000 phone numbers selected by NSO Group clients. Candiru, Israel's second spyware company, has been blacklisted. The US says the Israeli company's activities are against US national security interests.