- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2014

Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace talks last year, according to a report Sunday in Der Spiegel.

The German news magazine cited “reliable sources” in its report Sunday that Israel electronically snooped on on some of the calls Mr. Kerry made using a regular, non-encrypted cell phone during the peace negotiations — a revelation that threatens to further irritate strained relations between the U.S. and the Jewish state.

The Israeli government used the information obtained by spying on Mr. Kerry in the peace negotiations, according to the report.

At least one other intelligence service also listened in on Mr. Kerry’s phone calls as he mediated talks between Israel, Palestinians and Arab states, it said.

Israel media has leveled stinging criticism of Mr. Kerry’s attempts to broker a cease fire in the current conflict between the Jewish state and Hamas. The unrelenting attacks on Mr. Kerry forced the Obama administration last week to defend its top diplomat, saying Israel has “no better friend, no stronger defender than John Kerry.”