Netanyahu's party overtakes Gantz coalition ahead of election

Blanche Robertson
March 21, 2019

It remains unclear just how much and what information was leaked, and if the hack actually took place.

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz responded Tuesday to the leaking of a recording in which he told close confidants that he would not rule out a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu, saying in a statement that the situation has changed and that he will not be willing to form a coalition with the prime minister.

Gantz, a former military chief of staff, later confirmed the hack without saying who was behind it, but added there was nothing on the phone that could be used to blackmail him.

The Iranian espionage was heavily discussed in Israeli media ever since the right-wing journalist Amit Segal uncovered the case of hacking the phone of former Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Forces.

According to a report aired on Israel's Channel 12, Nadav Argaman said both Barak's personal cellphone and computer had been hacked. The damage is then assessed and the issue is considered a matter of "national security".

Gantz announced that his phone did not contain any sensitive or confidential security information.

Fed sees no rate hikes in 2019, sets end to asset runoff
That could become more apparent Wednesday afternoon, when the Federal Reserve is widely expected to hold interest rates steady. Wall Street fell following the announcement, with the Dow losing 0.5 percent and the broader S&P 500 dropping 0.3 percent.

Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White joint list, speaks to the media in Kibbutz Nir Am, Israel, March 15, 2019.

His change of heart came shortly after reports that Netanyahu had sold stock in a company that supplied services to ThyssenKrupp.

In their first full press conference since launching the party, Gantz, Moshe Yaalon, and Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as their ally Yair Lapid accused Netanyahu of being implicated in "the greatest security-related corruption case in the history of Israel".

Ghasemi went on to say that Iranian youth are enjoying unmatched and unbelievable potentials in different fields of technology, however, these potentials are merely aiming to meet domestic needs, promote Iran's scientific position and remove technological dependence to others.

Netanyahu was questioned as a witness in the case and was not considered a suspect.

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