Police in Israel on Tuesday admitted using the Pegasus spyware to monitor the phones of Israeli citizens.
They said they found evidence of the unauthorized use of the sophisticated spyware by its own investigators on Israelis’ phones.
The statement was released during a secondary investigation uncovering additional findings.
Pegasus, developed by the Israeli NSO Group, has been embroiled in scandal.
A global media investigation last year revealed it was being used to spy on heads of state, dissidents, activists, and others by a number of governments worldwide.
This, according to the media organizations that conducted the investigation, enabled “human rights violations around the world on a massive scale”.
On Tuesday, outgoing Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ordered police to take immediate steps to prevent unauthorized use and halt any spying activities in the future.
He also announced the formation of an inquiry team to look into the reports of surveillance.
On Jan. 18, the Israeli Calcalist news and business website reported that Israeli police used Pegasus against Israeli citizens without court authorization.