Netanyahu did not ask to ‘specifically’ tap Mossad chief’s phone, says former intelligence head

Former chief of Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent to the American FBI, denied a TV report claiming Netanyahu had asked him to tap the phones of the IDF and Mossad heads. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Former Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) chief Yoram Cohen said Friday he was never ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “specifically” tap the phones of the Mossad and the IDF chief of staff, sparking speculation about what he meant by the word “specifically.”

Cohen said that as a matter of practice he did not respond to media requests to detail the conversations carried out between the prime minister and himself.

“But, media accounts of the prime minister supposedly giving me orders as Shin Bet head to eavesdrop on Chief of Staff [Benny] Gantz and Mossad head [Tamir] Pardo — are not correct.”

A TV investigative reporting show called Uvda, or “Fact” in English, reported that the premier had ordered Cohen to stop leaks to the news media by eavesdropping on a number of high-ranking security officials

A followup report claimed that two men – Pardo and Gantz – were singled out.

Netanyahu: ‘This is a total lie’

On Friday, Netanyahu flatly denied the report.

Netanyahu wrote on his twitter feed: “I never requested surveillance of the chief of staff and the head of the Mossad…Lies know no limits!”

Netanyahu criticized Pardo for making his revealing statements on TV during the cabinet meeting Sunday.

The UVDA interveiw with Pardo, that was aired on Thursday, quoted Pardo as saying of the Mossad that it was a “crime syndicate with a license.”

“Mossad is not a crime syndicate,” Netanyahu asserted.