German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak before a lunch as part of a one day governmental meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, February 16, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Prime Minister's Office had no response Saturday to a Der Spiegel report alleging that the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been spying on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
According to the German weekly, the BND also spied on the interior ministries of Austria and Belgium, the UK Defense Ministry, the US State Department, and other departments within NASA and the US Air Force.
The report joins a number of others in recent months alleging friendly countries spying on one another.
For example, in December the Wall Street Journal
reported that US National Security Agency eavesdropped on phone conversations between top Israeli officials and US lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.
According to the paper, White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Netanyahu's campaign against the nuclear deal with Iran.
Israel and Germany are believed to have close intelligence cooperation, with Israeli intelligence believed to have been the agency that provided valuable information to the German government late last year that may have prevented a major terrorist attack.
According to the weekly German publication Stern,
Berlin received key intelligence from Israel regarding an imminent terror attack against a packed soccer stadium days after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015.
Israeli intelligence had informed Berlin of an imminent terror threat modeled after the Paris attacks, with concrete times and targets being mentioned. One of the targets was the Hanover stadium.
The game was called off just four days after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been set to attend along with other government ministers in a show of solidarity with the French.
Reuters contributed to this report