Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to France on Wednesday to discuss the repercussions of the scandal linked to the “Pegasus” spyware program developed by an Israeli company, which reports said targeted French officials, including President Emmanuel Macron.
Gantz’s office said in a statement that he will leave on Wednesday to hold talks with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris, including the “Pegasus” program.
The program is currently at the center of a suspected global espionage scandal involving journalists, human rights defenders and 14 heads of state, including Macron, who was forced to change his phone number.
The Paris-based Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International obtained a list of 50,000 phone numbers believed to be for people chosen by the Israeli company’s agents to monitor them since 2016. It was shared on Sunday by a group of 17 international media outlets, including the French newspapers Le Monde and The Guardian. Britain and the American Washington Post.
Once downloaded to the target’s phone, Pegasus allows you to view messages, photos, contacts, and activate the microphone and camera remotely.
The Jerusalem Post said that he expected Gantz’s talks with Barley to address “the critical situations in Lebanon, as well as the Iranian nuclear deal, in addition to the issue of cybersecurity at NSO.”
And Israeli media reported last week that Macron had asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for clarifications about the “Pegasus” spyware program developed by the Israeli company, NSO.
On Sunday, the Israeli channel “12” indicated that Macron expressed his dissatisfaction with the reports that the program was used against him, and against members of his government.
Reports had indicated that one country (not Israel) used the program against the cell phone of the French president and members of his government.
The Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Sunday that the French had asked the Israeli government to conduct an investigation with the Israeli company.
NSO’s exports require Department of Defense approvals due to the sensitive nature of the sector.
The CEO of the Israeli private company Shalev Julio confirmed that his company exports its technologies intended for use in combating terrorism and other crimes to 45 countries with the approval of the government.