Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu routinely assumes that he is being spied upon and therefore goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent his work being compromised by foreign agencies, Israeli TV reported on Friday night, in the wake of revelations that US and British intelligence services intercepted emails in his office and that of his predecessor Ehud Olmert and also spied on former defense minister Ehud Barak.

Netanyahu has no computer in his office, does not use email, and does not maintain a private phone, Channel 2 reported.

More dramatically, when discussing especially sensitive issues even at his home, Netanyahu and guests sometimes resort to “gestures” rather than speech, because of concerns that they are being listened to, Channel 10 reported.

It added that Netanyahu conducts his most sensitive discussions in the offices of the Mossad intelligence service, because only there is he confident that he is safe from listening devices.

Netanyahu’s aides will tell you that he sometimes “speaks in codes” during discussions, the Channel 10 report said, and that even when it’s not entirely clear what he means by the “code” name for this or that official, they can’t ask him because he won’t tell them.

Regarding the email communications that were intercepted by US and UK intelligence agencies, the report said that Netanyahu would be only too happy if that relatively harmless email account was the sole focus of such espionage activity.

Netanyahu and his former defense minister Barak have always worked on the assumption that they were under surveillance, the Hebrew TV reports said, describing Netanyahu as “cautious and suspicious” and noting that it was the worst-kept secret that even allies such as the US spy on friendly states. Friday’s revelations are just the tip of the iceberg, Channel 10 said.