US security services shared data collected through eavesdropping with Jerusalem and secretly tracked Israeli military actions, the NSA documents leaked to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published in The New York Times, revealed.
The documents disclose how US agents spied on leaders from Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and that Israel was also the target of NSA spying.
The US intelligence tracked unmanned aerial vehicles and the Black Sparrow missile system, a ballistic missile used as target practice for the Arrow missile-defense system.
Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom said that neither he nor defense officials were surprised to find out that the US had been spying on Israel. He also added he had been warned not to discuss sensitive matters on the phone when he became a minister, under the assumption that his calls were being tapped on.
The leaked NSA documents also confirm that the US shared intelligence information with Israel’s signal intelligence unit, known as Unit 8200.
An NSA document leaked by Snowden in late August already listed Israel as one of several “priority targets,” including Cuba, China, Russia and Iran.
Revelations over NSA spying strained relations of the US with its allies around the world, threatening to undermine US foreign policy, especially amid leaks that 35 world leaders’ cell phones were wire tapped.
Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State during the Clinton administration, said Snowden’s disclosures were very damaging to US policymakers and added that spying among allies was not new recalling how once French ambassador asked her why she had said something in a private conversation that the French had apparently intercepted.
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