Israel tapped foreign calls until 2004


Israeli military conscripts listened to foreign journalists’ calls abroad until 2004, a television expose revealed.

Channel 10 reported this week that only three years ago did the Israel Defense Force disband a secret unit in Tel Aviv which, under orders of the military censor, eavesdropped on telephone conversations placed by foreign journalists abroad to detect possible security leaks.

At times the staff of military conscripts also monitored regular international calls, including some placed by Israel’s national leaders, the television station reported.

Rachel Dolev, a former chief military censor, told Channel 10 that the eavesdropping unit was disbanded because it was deemed anachronistic.

Censorship is a subject of debate in Israel, which though in a state of war with several of its neighbors strives to uphold free democratic values.

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