Joint List Demands a State Commission to Probe Police Spyware Allegations

Joint List lawmakers on Monday called for the establishment of a state inquiry to look into explosive claims that the Israel Police conducted extensive extrajudicial spying against dozens of top public officials, journalists, social activists, anti-Netanyahu protest leaders, mayors, leaders of Ethiopian-Israeli protests against police, a union chairman and citizens.

The new report by Calcalist claims that the police’s special operations cyber unit used Pegasus for years against civilians without obtaining court approval and in direct violation of the law. The technology was used for intelligence gathering and not for gathering evidence.

The Pegasus spyware is capable of remotely and covertly extracting information from targets’ cell phones, including texts, browser history, call history and screenshots, among other information.

The frontage of “Calcalist”, February 7, 2022

Joint List chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) linked the report to the fight against crime in Arab- society, tweeting “For months, the police have been telling us that if we just release them from the restraints of democracy and allow them to use Shin Bet surveillance and search homes without a warrant, they will be able to defeat crime in Arab society. Now the lie has been exposed: they already had the anti-democratic tools, what the police lack is only the will.”

The Knesset on Wednesday rejected a proposal to form a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the police use of spyware on Israeli citizens. Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) proposed to form a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the police’s alleged use of spyware. Her proposal was rejected by a vote of 10-14.