Israel Vows to Ban Hacking of French Phones

French President Emmanuel Macron during a summit (File photo: AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron during a summit (File photo: AFP)
TT

Israel Vows to Ban Hacking of French Phones

French President Emmanuel Macron during a summit (File photo: AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron during a summit (File photo: AFP)

The Israeli national security advisor Eyal Hulata met with the top adviser to the French president, Emmanuel Bonne, to discuss the alleged hacking of French ministers by a client of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware maker.

According to security sources in Tel Aviv, Hulata met with Bonne and pledged that the intelligence and the rest of the Israeli security services would ban the hacking of French cell phones in any future spyware deal between an Israeli firm and a third country.

The secret talks in Paris were held to defuse tensions between the two countries over the alleged hacking of top French officials' phones with controversial Pegasus spyware last July.

Back then, Le Monde newspaper reported that Pegasus was used by a Moroccan security service targeting the phone numbers of President Emmanuel Macron. Rabat has denied any involvement that it has spied on any public figures.

The French presidency froze much of political, security, and intelligence cooperation with Israel following the report.

The Israeli security services and diplomatic bodies rushed to conduct quiet talks with the French to contain the crisis.

According to the Walla news site in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett assigned Hulata to this task.

Hulata presented his French counterpart with in-depth explanations of the Pegasus program and its proposals to solve the crisis.

He pledged that Israel would include France in the group of five countries that ban monitoring its phones, namely the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

According to Israeli sources, Paris agreed to end the crisis but is gradually resuming cooperation.

The Pegasus program is known to be based on a technology that hacks mobile phones, copies their content, and uses phones remotely to record conversations and take pictures.



Danish Parliament Rejects Proposal to Recognize Palestinian State

Students gather near banners at an encampment at the University of Copenhagen's City Campus, at the old Municipal Hospital amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6, 2024. (Reuters)
Students gather near banners at an encampment at the University of Copenhagen's City Campus, at the old Municipal Hospital amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6, 2024. (Reuters)
TT

Danish Parliament Rejects Proposal to Recognize Palestinian State

Students gather near banners at an encampment at the University of Copenhagen's City Campus, at the old Municipal Hospital amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6, 2024. (Reuters)
Students gather near banners at an encampment at the University of Copenhagen's City Campus, at the old Municipal Hospital amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6, 2024. (Reuters)

Denmark's parliament rejected a proposal to recognize a Palestinian state on Tuesday, backing the government's view that the necessary conditions were not in place, despite a decision by Spain, Ireland and Norway to endorse independence.

Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after more than seven months of conflict with the Palestinian Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, has reacted furiously to the European moves.

The Danish bill had been proposed by four left-wing parties.

Sascha Faxe, member of parliament for The Alternative, said recognizing a Palestinian state was the only way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

"The vast majority of Danish politicians agree that there will be no lasting peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution," she said in parliament, adding that she saw recognition as a way to give rights to ordinary Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen had previously said the Danish government could not recognize a Palestinian state because it did not have a single functioning authority or control over its own territory.

Rasmussen did not take part in Tuesday's debate but has said he hopes Denmark will one day be able to give its backing to a Palestinian state.  

Earlier, the University of Copenhagen said it would halt investment in companies that do business in the occupied West Bank amid student protests pressuring the campus to cut financial and institutional ties with Israel.

Hundreds of students began campus protests in early May to express their opposition to Israel's operations in Gaza that were triggered by deadly attacks by Hamas in Israel on Oct. 7. The students have demanded that the university cuts academic ties with Israel and divests from companies operating in occupied Palestinian territories.

The university will, as of May 29, divest its holdings worth a total of about 1 million Danish crowns ($145,810) in Airbnb, Booking.com and eDreams, it said in a post on social media platform X.

The university said it would work with fund managers to manage its investments and ensure they comply with a United Nations list of companies involved in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The University of Copenhagen has a yearly revenue of over 10 billion crowns, some of which is invested in bonds and equities.

Israel captured territories in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip after winning a 1967 war with neighboring Arab states.