Israel denies warning Russia against interference in upcoming election

Lapid’s alleged concern over interference from Moscow could be based on the souring of Israel-Russia ties during his premiership.

By World Israel News Staff

Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, reportedly appealed to its Russian counterpart to refrain from getting involved in Israel’s upcoming November election, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.

According to the report, which cited its Hebrew-language sister site Maariv, the appeal was made following instructions from Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

The Post described the directive as “matter-of-fact and focused.”

“I don’t know for whose benefit or against whom, and I don’t know what the political interest is, but this country intends to interfere in the elections and will do so through cyber means, such as hackers,” former Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman said already during the first round of elections in January 2019, the Post reported.

“I know what I’m talking about,” Argaman stated in his address at Tel Aviv University.

But he did not outright name the country.

“The Shin Bet does not discuss the dialogue that takes place between it and intelligence organizations in the world,” the Shin Bet said in response at the time.

Israel has denied warning Russia against such activity, according to the Post.

Jerusalem enjoyed good relations with Moscow during the Netanyahu premiership. The relationship soured over recent months, however, largely due to Lapid’s denunciation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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Most recently, Russia announced its intention to close the Jewish Agency offices in its country.

The November 2022 election is Israel’s fifth in less than four years.