Israel sells spyware to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain

These states use the Israeli spyware to monitor anti-regime activists, Haaretz said, with the Israeli government's encouragement and approval.

Tel Aviv city hall lights up with UAE flag to celebrate normalisa
Tel Aviv City Hall lights up after UAE-Israeli normalization of relations in Tel Aviv, Israel (Occupied Palestine). [Getty]
Israel has sold spyware to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE, helping them monitor the dissidents’ activities, The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday.

As per According to  the paper, the Israeli firm NSO Group Technologies, whose software is used to hack mobile phones, has over the past few years sold its Pegasus spyware for hundreds of millions of dollars to the UAE and the other Gulf States.These states use the Israeli spyware to monitor anti-regime activists, Haaretz said, with the Israeli government’s encouragement and approval.

Israeli and the UAE flags line a road in Netanya, Israel (Occupied Palestine). [Getty Images]
Chaim Levinson wrote to Haaretz that  The NSO “is one of the most active Israeli companies in the Gulf. Israel’s Pegasus 3 software permits law enforcement authorities to hack into cellphones, copy their contents, and sometimes even to control their camera and audio recording capabilities.”

According to Levinson, the company works only with state authorities, “but it doesn’t distinguish between democracies and dictatorships, as in the Gulf; despite its claims, it does little to supervise how its technology is used.”

Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (C), Mohamed Bin Thaaloob al-Derai, President of UAE Wrestling Judo, and Kickboxing Federation (L) and International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer (R) chat during the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo tournament in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi. (STRINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

“Israel,” Levinson said, “put NSO in touch with Arab states in the region. Israeli representatives even took part in marketing meetings between intelligence officials in the Arab states and NSO executives. Some of the meetings were held in Israel.”

Levinson said that NSO makes hundreds of billions from the sale of spyware to Arab countries.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and the UAE’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) [L], and Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) [R}.
He said: “Every Gulf state has a nickname based on the first letter of the country’s name and an automotive manufacturer: Saudi Arabia is called Subaru, Bahrain is BMW and Jordan is Jaguar. The practice within The NSO is to use these names rather than the country’s real name.”

Regarding Qatar, Haaretz said, NSO does not do business with it because Israel prohibits it.

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