Netanyahu: Claims That I Ordered Wiretapping ‘A Total Lie’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with then-IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (4th R), then-Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (3rd R), Chief of the Shin Bet Yoram Cohen and Director of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo (R) at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv in this 2014 file photo. (Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied on Friday claims that he ordered senior security officials wiretapped seven years ago, calling a report by Channel 12 on Thursday a “total lie.”

According to a report on the Uvda on Thursday night, Netanyahu allegedly approached the then-head of the Shin Bet Yoram Cohen, and asked him to tap the phones of a number of people, including Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo and IDF chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.

“I do not want to believe that in the State of Israel, which is a democratic state, the prime minister will ask the head of the Shin Bet to tap the phone of the Chief of Staff or myself,” said Pardo in the interview. “If he doesn’t believe in us, he can force us to resign within ten minutes.”

According to Pardo, Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen refused the request for the wiretaps.

“To tap [a phone] is the greatest act of mistrust that can be,” Pardo told journalist Ilana Dayan. “To put a listening device on the head of the Mossad is out of bounds.

“If I knew something like this was happening, the right thing for me to do would have been to get up and leave.”

The Prime Minister’s Office was quick to deny the report, saying it was a “total distortion” of the efforts made to protect state secrets.

On Friday morning the prime minister responded via social media to the allegations, calling the report “a total lie.”

“I never asked to wiretap the Chief of Staff or the head of the Mossad,” he wrote. “This is a total lie. There is no limit to lies!”