Israel denies spying White House

Israel denied on Thursday that it had planted spy devices near the White House.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in an official statement that a report by the American Politico news site was “absolutely false.”

According to the report, issued earlier on Thursday, U.S. government officials have concluded that Israel was most probably behind the placement of cell-phone surveillance devices near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington.

“The Israeli government has a long-standing commitment and a sweeping directive not to engage in intelligence operations in the U.S.,” the prime minister’s office said. “This guidance is being implemented without exception.”

It was not the first time Israel has been accused of spying against its close ally. In 1986, an American court found Jewish American citizen Jonathan Pollard guilty of espionage on behalf of Israel. He was released on parole in November 2015.