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July 29, 2021 12:35 pm

Gantz Tells French Defense Minister, NSO Didn’t Hack Macron’s Phone

avatar by i24 News

Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 27, 2021. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool via REUTERS

i24 News – Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz told French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly in Paris on Wednesday that the NSO Group did not hack French President Emmanuel Macron’s phone, Israel’s Channel 13 news reported.

Gantz also reportedly told his French counterpart that other French officials were not targeted by the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli cybersecurity firm despite reports that the technology was used to track political activists and journalists across the globe.

“Israel is taking the allegations seriously,” Gantz told Parly, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

The statement continued: “[Gantz] noted that the State of Israel approves the export of cyber products exclusively to governmental entities, for lawful use and only for the purpose of preventing and investigating crime and counter terrorism. He also informed Parly that officials visited NSO’s office today and that Israel is investigating the allegations thoroughly.”

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Gantz and Parly also discussed defense relations between the two countries, negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program and the economic and political crisis in Lebanon.

Gantz also met with Bernard Émié, the director of the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), and also with Jewish community leaders in Paris.

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