Israel
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Shin Bet investigating after 15 Yesh Atid MKs briefly blocked from WhatsApp

Opposition leader Yair Lapid among those affected; security service looking at incident amid fears lawmakers phones were hacked

The Shin Bet security service is investigating a potential breach of 15 Yesh Atid lawmakers’ phones after they were temporarily blocked from the WhatsApp messaging service on Saturday.

The lawmakers, including Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, were blocked from the app and their accounts early Saturday.

The party said that the issue had resolved itself, but they had reported the unusual incident to the Knesset security officer and the Shin Bet security service was also involved in probing a possible breach.

Channel 12 reported that several other Yesh Atid members, including some who are running in local council elections, were also affected by the shutdown that lasted some three hours.

“If it is not a widespread outage and just me, then I don’t have control of my WhatsApp,” tweeted MK Meirav Ben Ari. “If you get messages please ignore them.”

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In 2019, opposition politician Benny Gantz reportedly had his phone hacked by Iran and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party of leaking the information to use as fodder for its campaign videos.