Jerusalem: Israel’s Police Chief has cut short his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid a spiraling scandal over Israeli police hacking phones of officials and citizens without authorisation.
Israeli Police Commissioner, Kobi Shabtai, who arrived in the UAE on Sunday, returned to Israel early on Tuesday to deal with the scandal, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Israeli Police used the Pegasus spyware to hack phones of activists, general directors of government ministries, mayors, journalists, and other civilians without authorisation, the state-owned Kan TV news reported.
“In the wake of recent publications and in order to keep a close eye on developments, the Commissioner will shorten his visit,” the Israeli Police said in a statement.
The Police also noted that Shabtai supports the establishment of an inquiry commission headed by a judge.
Israeli spyware company NSO Group has developed the Pegasus, a powerful phone-hacking tool, which can infect mobile phones to extract messages, photos and emails, and secretly activate microphones and cameras.