Israel-Gaza conflict: New Snowden leak reveals extent of US intelligence co-operation with Israel

Top secret NSA document lists 'Palestinian terrorism' among Israeli targets

Israel could be using US intelligence and equipment in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to leaked document.

A top secret report by the American National Security Agency (NSA) provided by Edward Snowden was published on Monday by The Intercept.

The document, dated 13 April 2013, describes the NSA’s “far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU) sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting”.

It says the co-operation has expanded to include other Israeli and US intelligence organisations including the CIA, American Special Operations Division and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

Targets for both America and Israel are listed as “the countries of North Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and the Islamic republics of the former Soviet Union”.

Among Israel’s particular priorities, the document mentions Iran and Syria’s nuclear programmes, Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon and “Palestinian terrorism”.

It adds: “The Israeli side enjoys the benefits of expanded geographic access to world-class NSA cryptanalytic and SIGINT engineering expertise, and also gains controlled access to advanced US technology and equipment via accommodation buys and foreign military sales.”

Read more: Britain's role in arming Israel revealed
Reports that British aid worker killed in Gaza
Airstrike kills militant Islamic Jihad leader

An accompanying report by Glenn Greenwald, a former Guardian journalist who hit headlines last year when his partner was detained at Heathrow Airport, claims Britain’s electronic surveillance agency GCHQ and its Canadian equivalent also co-operate with Israel.

The US also supplies arms to Israel, including radar systems, missiles and V-22 planes for the Air Force listed in a Times of Israel report.

Last year, the US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, said the weapons would ensure country’s “military superiority over any enemy state, non-state or coalition”.

Britain’s role in arming the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) was revealed by The Independent last week.

Documents showed that arms export licences worth £42m have been granted to 130 British defence manufacturers since 2010 to sell Israel military equipment ranging  from weapons control and targeting systems to ammunition, drones and armoured vehicles.

Two UK companies supplying components for the Hermes drone, described by the Israeli air force as the “backbone” of its targeting and reconnaissance missions and widely used in Operation Protective Edge, was on the list, and another supplied tank parts.

More than 1,800 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in so far in the offensive according to Palestinian health authorities, and an Israeli air strike on a UN school provoked fresh condemnation on Sunday.

The Government said it would review all outstanding export licences to Israel as politicians and campaigners called on ministers to establish whether UK-manufactured parts are being used in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

A top secret “memorandum of understanding” between the NSA and Israeli intelligence services was published by the Guardian in September last year and co-operation is known to date back to at least the 1960s, with an agreement between US Lyndon Johnson and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.

Chuck Hagel said US weapons would ensure Israel's military superiority But according to the latest document, Israel wants even wider access to American intelligence from the NSA.

It says the ICNU has raised concerns about the American agency’s alleged “reluctance” to share on technology not directly related to specified targets, a perceived reduction in co-operation in “certain areas” and the time taken to approve ISNU proposals.

A spokesman for the NSA told The Independent it would not comment on “specific intelligence activities and relationships”.

He added: “The fact that intelligence services sometimes co-operate in a lawful and appropriate manner mutually strengthens the security of both nations. 

“Whenever NSA shares intelligence information or technology, we comply with all applicable laws and rules.”

A spokesman for GCHQ said that it did not comment on intelligence matters according to "longstanding policy".

She added: "All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee."

Read more: Robert Fisk on Israel - the Obama years
Young Americans judge Israel's actions in Gaza differently
Obama presses Netanyahu for ceasefire
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth