Russia denies hacking Benny Gantz's phone, calling it fake news

Ya'alon: Netanyahu's people listening to Blue and White phones.

Benny Gantz  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Benny Gantz
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
The Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv firmly denied the findings of a company hired by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, which found that Russian hackers had hacked into the phones of Gantz and four of his advisers.
CGI, which conducted the probe, described the hacking as unprecedentedly powerful, but Blue and White has said that there was an attempt at hacking but it was unsuccessful. CGI founder and CEO Zvika Nave confirmed on Thursday that Russians were behind the hacking.
Embassy spokesman Alexander Gavrilov told Channel 12 on Thursday that “the embassy does not respond to fake news.”
Both Gantz and CGI’s president, former minister Yaakov Peri – who was also head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – also disputed Russia’s involvement. Gantz told Army Radio on Thursday that “the report did not point to Russian involvement,” and Peri told KAN Radio that the hacking was done by “Eastern Europeans who are not specifically Russians.”
Meanwhile, Blue and White MK Moshe Ya’alon accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his associates of listening to the phones of Blue and White leaders and leaking the CGI probe in order to distract the public from reports about Netanyahu’s criminal investigations that made him look bad. Gantz also blamed “people who have an interest in harming us” for the hacking.
“It’s not Russians – the Russians are not interested in us,” Ya’alon said. “Our opponents are Netanyahu and his people. He is using means that are not legitimate. He is fighting for his life and trying to avoid the law, and there are those who will lose a lot of money if he loses.”
Likud ministers accused Ya’alon of false accusations and called on him to apologize.
The heads of CGI took to the airwaves on Thursday to respond to Blue and White denying the findings of CGI’s report, and suggesting that the company was operating and leaking information in an effort to serve Blue and White’s opponents. They firmly rejected the accusations.
Peri and Nave accused Blue and White of “killing the messenger,” and that the leaks of the report came from Blue and White advisers and not from them.
“Blue and White apparently has what to hide,” Nave said.
Peri revealed that Gantz had asked CGI to obtain information on Blue and White’s opponents, a charge the party denied.
Blue and White MKs said that in retrospect, hiring CGI was a mistake. The company continues to work for Gantz.
The Blue and White leader said he would complete his work with the company in upcoming days.