- The Washington Times - Friday, January 29, 2016

The United State and Britain have been monitoring secret drone flights and communications by the Israeli Air Force since 1998, according to documents published Friday by The Intercept. 

The documents are believed to have been included in leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. 

Israel voiced disappointment over the spying disclosure, but no great surprise. 

“I do not think that this is the deepest kingdom of secrets, but it is certainly something that should not happen,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of national infrastructure and energy and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet told Army Radio. 

“We will now have to look and consider changing the encryption, certainly,” he said. 

The disclosure could create some tension between Israel and the U.S., but the two close allies have traditionally spied on each other, despite pledging not to, the New York Times reported. 

“We know that the Americans spy on the whole world, and also on us, also on their friends,” Mr. Steinitz said.

“But still, it is disappointing, inter alia because, going back decades already, we have not spied nor collected intelligence nor hacked encryptions in the United States.” 

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth said that the National Security Agency in the United States and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, which monitor electronic and other communications, had decrypted Israeli communications on air force missions over Gaza, Iran and Syria.

The spy operation, code-named Anarchist, was run out of a base in Cyprus and also targeted other countries in the region, including Egypt, Iran, Syria and Turkey, according to the Intercept. 

 

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