Defense Minister Benny Gantz assured French officials that Israeli spyware did not target French President Emmanuel Macron.
During a meeting with his counterpart Florence Parly, Gantz said that the Pegasus technology of the Israeli NSO Group had not been used to hack into the phones of Macron or other French officials, during his trip to Paris on Wednesday, according to Channel 13.
“Israel is taking the allegations seriously,” Gantz also told Parly, according to an Defense Ministry statement.
Parly, a Defense Ministry source said Tuesday, wanted “to find out what knowledge the Israeli government had of the activities of NSO’s clients, and what arrangements were put in place — and will be in the future — to prevent these highly intrusive tools being hijacked.”
“[Gantz] noted that the State of Israel approves the export of cyber products exclusively to governmental entities, for lawful use and only for the purpose of preventing and investigating crime and counter terrorism,” the statement added.
“He also informed Minister Parly that officials visited NSO’s office today and that Israel is investigating the allegations thoroughly,” and if necessary will “take appropriate action.”
NSO has denied the claims made against it, calling them part of an effort “to smear the whole Israeli cyber industry.”