Papers leaked by Edward Snowden, and published by the Guardian on Friday, revealed that GCHQ in association with the National Security Agency (NSA) had targeted an email address used by the Israeli prime minister when Ehud Olmert was in office.
Three further Israeli targets appeared on GCHQ documents, including another email address understood to have been used to send messages between the then Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, and his chief of staff.
Netanyahu told members of his ruling Likud Party at a meeting of the parliamentary faction in the Knesset on Monday to examin the matter, Guardian added.
Netanyahu had pointedly avoided addressing the growing storm at a meeting of the Israeli cabinet, prompting widespread media comment in Israel that he was attempting to stifle discussion on the embarrassing revelations about the behavior of Israel’s closest strategic ally.
Several Israeli ministers had already broken ranks and protested publicly about NSA surveillance. Israeli anger at the US was exacerbated by a report in Yedioth Ahronoth, the country’s largest-selling newspaper, that a US marine rented an apartment in June 2009 directly opposite the private home of Ehud Barak, a former prime minister and military chief of staff who was then Israel’s defense minister.
Strategic affairs minister Yuval Steinitz and other officials said the NSA and GCHQ would have learned little of value from the email addresses and phone lines they apparently intercepted, which were publicly listed contact points and not used for the transmission of sensitive information.
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