India voted against Palestine at UN after Pegasus deal: Report

New Delhi, January 29 (KMS): Israel offered Pegasus, a tool that cracked encrypted messages on iPhones and androids, to countries like India, Hungary and Mexico in order to ensure a shift in their positions at the UN, the New York Times has claimed in a year-long investigation.

Pegasus was offered to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an Indian Premier’s first-ever 2017 Israel visit as part of a $ 2 billion package that included missiles. Subsequently, India voted in favour of Israel by denying observer status at the UN’s Economic and Social Council to a Palestinian human rights organisation. “Access helped Israel win votes in the UN and to reach an accord with Arab adversaries,” reported the paper.

The Indian part of the probe by a consortium of journalists showed that an overwhelming majority of mobile phones allegedly targeted by Pegasus were critics of the Modi government. But the government has said the report was a “sensational attempt” to “malign Indian democracy” while the Ambassador of Israel to India Naor Gilon has said all exports by NSO were supervised by Tel Aviv.

The only country saved from the intrusion of Pegasus was the US. Tel Aviv pressured the parent company NSO to program Pegasus so it was incapable of dialing US numbers in order to prevent foreigners from spying on Americans. But NSO also sold the software to the FBI, relabelling it as Phantom that could attack US numbers. But in the end the FBI decided not to use it.

Pegasus helped Mexican authorities capture El Chapo, European investigators bust terrorist plots and organised crime. But Mexico also used it against journalists and political dissidents. So did some of the Gulf monarchies such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The only country that has taken action is the US which added NSO to its “entity list” for activities “contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. KMS—A