Worker for Israel defense minister accused of Iran espionage

Tel Aviv: Israel has charged a domestic worker employed by the country’s defense minister with espionage for allegedly offering to use his proximity to the minister to relay information to Iran, Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet said Thursday.

The man, identified as Omri Goren, worked at Defense Minister Benny Gantz’ home as a cleaner and caretaker. The Shin Bet said he initiated contact with an unnamed Iranian entity though social media, sending photos of different items around the house including pictures of the minister’s computer.

The Shin Bet said Goren discussed infecting Gantz’ computer with malware, but was arrested before any plans were carried out. He had no access to classified material, or sent any, they added.

This isn’t the first time Gantz has had a run-in with Iran.

While campaigning for elections in 2019, the former military chief was warned by the Shin Bet that Iranian intelligence hacked his cellphone, putting his personal details and addresses in hostile hands.

A statement from Gantz’s campaign at the time insinuated his opponents leaked the news to damage his political bid.