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March 14, 2019 12:54 pm

Israeli Intelligence Reveals Iran Hacked Blue and White Party Head Benny Gantz’s Phone

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Benny Gantz is seen after a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Feb. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Iran hacked the cellphone of former IDF chief of staff and current Blue and White party co-leader Benny Gantz, stealing substantial amounts of personal and professional data, media reports on Thursday said.

According to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, two top officials in Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency met with Gantz five weeks ago and told him that Iranian intelligence had hacked his phone and that all its contents, including personal details and private and professional texts were now in enemy hands.

The Shin Bet officials warned Gantz that the information could be used against him if he served in a government position, and also told him what further steps to take to contain the damage. No details on the precise actions they recommended was available.

The meeting coincided with the rollout of Gantz’s election campaign.

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The Blue and White party reacted in a statement saying, “We do not respond to issues at the heart of national security. It must be said that the incident in question took place approximately four years after the end of chief of staff Gantz’s term.”

The party also said that the publication of the news of the hack at this point in the campaign “raises many questions.”

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak also responded to the news, saying, “From personal experience, don’t get excited.”

Barak stated that Iran might not be behind the leak, as it could simply be a random hacking.

He stated his belief that “there is nothing on the device that is sensitive for national security,” adding, “I am convinced that the Shin Bet is not behind the leak” of the story.

Barak also said, “Every citizen will assess who leaked and why.”

The Shin Bet had no comment on the reports.

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