Israel Reportedly Blocked Ukraine From Buying Pegasus Software

    Photo: Getty Images [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • The Israeli govt. previously rejected efforts by Ukraine and Estonia to acquire the spyware software Pegasus from the NSO Group, it was reported on Wed., because they feared it would be used to target Russia.

    • Pegasus, when successfully deployed, is a hacking tool that remotely extracts information such as photos, video recordings, contacts, and messages from a target's phone. It can also remotely activate cameras or microphones.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Israel has refused to send weapons to Ukraine and hasn't applied sanctions on Russia. By also not granting the sale of Pegasus to Ukraine and Estonia, it's clear that Israel values its relationship with the Kremlin more than human rights.

    Narrative B

    Pegasus is a critical tool for Israel's foreign policy and Israel, which has long maintained close diplomatic ties with Russia, doesn't want to upset Moscow on critical security issues such as the ability to mediate in Ukraine.

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