Iranian intelligence hackers in recent months broke into Blue and White party leader and former IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz’s personal mobile phone according to a report on Israel’s Channel 12 news.
Israel’s Shin Bet security service told Gantz five weeks ago that his phone had been compromised, shortly after he launched his political campaign.
While no classified information is believed to be on the phone, personal information and text messages may have been collected in order to find information that could be used against him, the Shin Bet reportedly noted to Gantz.
Following the report, Gantz’s Blue and White party said: “We don’t comment on issues that are at the heart of state security. It is important to emphasise that this incident happened four years after Gantz finished his tenure as chief of staff, [a fact] that raises many questions regarding the timing of the report’s publication”.
In light of the Channel 12 report, Gantz canceled a series of campaign appearances in bars scheduled for Thursday evening.
The Blue and White alliance is jointly led by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, and has been hailed as the principle contender to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.