Ubai al-Aboudi, director of the Ramallah-based Bisan Center for Research and Development, whose phone was among those hacked, said the timing of the designation raised serious concerns. “I think that it’s very suspicious that just days after [a small group of people] found out that Pegasus was being used against Palestinian human rights defenders, we were suddenly declared to be terrorists,” he said. “This [spyware] is supposed to be only used against terrorists, and suddenly the Israeli government declares us to be terrorists. This is putting the wagon in front of the horse.”
Al-Aboudi voiced concern that his phone had been tampered with to make him appear guilty. “A program that is so intrusive, it can also be used to create false evidence,” said al-Aboudi. Aboudi is a US citizen, and said his conversations with US diplomats, could have been compromised.