tillerson Israel

Israel News for January 12, 2017

Hamas Hacking
It was recently discovered that Hamas managed to hack the personal phones of dozens of IDF soldiers by using fake profiles of attractive Israeli women to initiate virtual relationships with them. Then the “girls” would ask the soldiers to download a specific video chat app. The app, which was a hacking tool, gave Hamas total control over the phone and allowed them to activate the camera and microphone, access contacts, videos and photos, and even Whatsapp conversations and emails—all without the soldier being aware. Hamas also managed to delete the application from the devices, while simultaneously installing more sophisticated monitoring and control applications without leaving a trace.

The investigation into the hacking by the IDF’s Information Security Department and the Shin Bet has revealed that there was minimal damage as almost all of the photos and information stolen was of a personal nature. The IDF is working on procedures to protect soldiers from falling prey to Hamas ruses on social media and to prevent Hamas from infiltrating the close to 3,000 IDF related Facebook groups. Quite a challenge.

While most of the soldiers only received a warning from their commanders, some may be put in military prison for 28 days.

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Tillerson on Israel
In the course of his Senate confirmation hearing, Rex Tillerson, President-elect Trump’s choice for Secretary of State revealed his views on issues relating to Israel.

Tillerson criticized the recent UN Security Council resolution as being a way of coercing Israel to change its policies. He said, “Israel is, has always been and remains our most important ally in the region. The UN resolution that was passed, in my view, is not helpful. It actually undermines a good set of conditions for talks to continue.” He added, “That will not lead to a solution.”

Tillerson also criticized John Kerry, saying that he found the Secretary of States decision to make a speech devoted to the Middle East conflict in which he focused heavily on Israeli settlement building as “quite troubling”.

He called on the Palestinian leadership to condemn and prevent terror attacks, saying that that was a prerequisite for “any productive discussion around settlements.” He questioned whether Israel could feasibly negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that refuses to recognize its right to exist as a Jewish state.

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