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Israeli defense minister’s house cleaner arrested on suspicion of espionage

(Israel Hayom via JNS) An individual who worked as a cleaner at Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s home was arrested earlier this month on suspicions of espionage. According to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police investigation revealed that Omri Goren, 37, from Lod, reportedly contacted the Iran-affiliated Black Shadow hacker group of his own accord a few days before his arrest, and offered to provide information from within the defense minister’s home. In exchange for an undisclosed sum of money, he offered to install spyware on the minister’s computer that would allow access by a third party.

He also supposedly took photographs of Gantz’s desk, computers, a tablet, a locked safe, a shredder, papers with IP addresses, a package with a label listing the souvenirs Gantz received as IDF chief of staff, framed photos of the family, municipal tax bills and more. Some of the photos Goren shared with the group to prove that he did indeed have access to Gantz’s home. The Shin Bet stressed that Goren had not had access to classified materials.  Once the investigation concluded, the Central District prosecution filed an indictment against Goren for espionage. The Shin Bet said that in light of the incident, it has set out to research ways to limit “the possibility of cases like this repeating themselves in the future.”

Main Photo: Israeli minister of Defense Benny Gantz attend a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on October 19, 2021. Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

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