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Shas MK backs call for state inquiry into NSO spyware affair

Shas MK Moshe Arbel at a campaign event in Jerusalem, on July 22, 2019. (Noam Revkin FentonFlash90)
Shas MK Moshe Arbel at a campaign event in Jerusalem, on July 22, 2019. (Noam Revkin FentonFlash90)

Shas MK Moshe Arbel says he would back forming a state commission of inquiry into allegations that Israel Police used spyware to spy on Israeli citizens, including protesters and activists.

“Even if Meretz were to submit a suggestion to establish a state commission of inquiry into the police use of NSO, I would support it,” Arbel tells Army Radio, referencing the gaps between the left-wing party and his own ultra-Orthodox faction.

When it comes to this issue, Arbel says, “there is no coalition and opposition. If even half of this report is true, it’s a national tragedy.”

A bombshell Calcalist report yesterday claimed that police used the NSO spyware Pegasus to surveil leaders of protests against then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It said police in recent years also hacked the phones of two sitting mayors suspected of corruption and numerous other Israeli citizens, all without a court order or a judge’s oversight.

In response, Israel Police has claimed that any usage of electronic tracking or phone hacking was done with full judicial oversight, and never included protesters or activists.

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