Monday, 5 September 2011


My Palestinian phone began ringing loudly at me last night at about 9pm. I jumped at the sound, still not yet used to the annoying ringtone version of Beethoven’s  ‘Fur Elise’ on my new (well second-hand) phone, which I haven’t yet figured out how to change. I looked at the screen checking it wasn’t that creepy old man again who I now majorly regretted giving my number to- he invited me for tea and I thought I could adopt him as my Palestinian granddad but he seemed to have other ideas.
My phone instead showed a strange number that I didn’t recognise starting with +8. I answered it anyway, too curious not to with my questioning styled “hello??” which I had perfected to answer the phone to unexpected calls from strange numbers. This usually ends up being some desperate call-centre worker from India whose commission won’t cover the cost of feeding her twelve children unless she successfully persuades you to upgrade your phone package. Alas, it was in actual fact my boyfriend, and straight away I asked: “what number are you calling me from?!”  Thinking for a millisecond that he had maybe swanned off with some Beautiful Austrian like-minded bike fanatic he had met at that mad bicycle race last weekend. But he answered “mine of course, why?” And as I explained to him that his number came up with a +8 (which it hadn’t done a couple days before), I also began to notice a strange crackly noise and the phone line was echoing. My boyfriend also claimed that he had heard an unusual series of clicks as the phone call connected. We joked that perhaps the Israeli Authorities were now tapping my phone calls but as soon as we did the crackly echo suddenly stopped.
Perhaps I’m being paranoid (I think I almost definitely am), but nonetheless I googled ‘Israel phonetapping’ and lots of information- call them conspiracies if you may- emerged stating that it was quite commonplace for calls from and to Palestine to be tapped.  
It was only last month when Israel was in the news for being charged with tapping Egypt’s phone network for Mossad. According to Egyptian intelligence services, two Mossad spies: Abu Zeid and Ofer Harari were attempting to intercept international calls coming into Egypt and to transfer them to Israel. Both spies are being tried, Ofer Harari in absentia as he managed to flee the country. If Israel is now attempting to phonetap Egypt, then it is certain that it has managed to do so already in Palestine.
Israel is breaking its own law by phonetapping, however, there seems to be a general Hobbesian mentality in Israel that the ‘Sovereign’ i.e. the Government Secretary (equivalent to the British Cabinet) is above its own self-established laws. Or maybe it’s just corrupt.

Anyway, I’m sure that whatever Mossad spy (of which there are thousands), was listening to my conversation, utterly bored. Perhaps expecting some top secret information from a contact in Britain and they got me and my boyfriend talking about furniture for our new flat. 

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