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‘Invasion of Privacy’: Israel Listens to Phone Calls in West Bank and Gaza

Faten Elwan Faten Elwan
17th November 2021
‘Invasion of Privacy’: Israel Listens to Phone Calls in West Bank and Gaza
Israel has used mobile phone surveillance to track Palestinians (Getty).

According to Middle East Eye, hundreds of soldiers can listen in on the conversations at any given time.

One of Israel's elite 8200 signal intelligence units has told Middle East Eye that Israel has access to every phone call made in the West Bank and Gaza.

Citing an intelligence source, Middle East Eye has reported that every mobile phone entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, south of Gaza, is compromised and every phone call made through Jawwal and Wataniya, the only two mobile networks available in the occupied territories, is also monitored.

The call recordings target Palestinians who are politically active and are considered a security threat. 

The second group targeted is ordinary civilians subjected to cultural pressure in ways such as blackmailing young Palestinians from the LGBTQ community or dating someone from a different religious background. According to a former signals intelligence member, the audio monitoring division of Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security service, uses information obtained through call recordings against Palestinians to force them into cooperating with the Israelis.

Said Nadeem Nasheef, 7amleh manager Nadim al-Nashef, told Misbar that the news was not surprising because Israel has been continuously violating the rights of Palestinians, particularly their digital rights and their right to privacy. Nasheef added that for years through the development of various means, methods, and technologies, such as facial recognition technologies, spyware such as "Pegasus," and more recently, what has been declared regarding listening devices that are implanted in every telephone.

According to Mona Shatayeh, a digital rights advocate, "We live in a pool of surveillance. Everything in the Palestinian territory is under constant surveillance by the Israeli military. We will be watched at all times, even when we are talking to our loved ones or when we are on our human rights mission!"