The Israeli government has formed a committee to scrutinize the police’s utilization of spyware, including NSO Group’s Pegasus software. Investigations published last year in the Calcalist newspaper alleged that the police had extensively employed such surveillance tools without proper judicial authorization. An internal review committee within the Ministry of Justice has largely discredited these findings.
The newly established government committee has been granted the power to probe cases that are currently under judicial review. This move has sparked widespread public criticism, with many arguing that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to undermine the credibility of the Attorney General, the police, and the judiciary involved in his ongoing criminal cases.
The government’s decision to form the committee was made despite reservations from Attorney General, Gali Baharav-Miara, who warned against “compromising the independence of the law enforcement system.”
Retired Judge Moshe Drori, a former Vice President of the Jerusalem District Court, has been appointed as the committee’s chairperson. Drori is known for his support of the fundamental changes that the government aims to implement in Israel’s existing legal system, a stance that has triggered large-scale protests since the beginning of the year.
Click here to read a draft proposal for the establishment of the committee. It is available on the Prime Minister’s Office website (PDF, in Hebrew). The final decision is still pending publication.