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Ex-general challenging Israeli PM reels from hacking scandal

JERUSALEM — The main challenger to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his heated race for re-election is trying to play down an embarrassing phone-hacking scandal that erupted just as the ex-general is sliding in opinion polls.

Benny Gantz’s campaign late Thursday confirmed that the former military chief, who has campaigned on his security credentials, was the target of an Iranian hacking attack. His campaign says the lapse occurred months before he entered politics and suggested the leak was a politically-motivated attempt to embarrass him ahead of April 9 elections.

At a press conference Friday, Gantz downplayed the matter and sought to divert attention to overnight cross-border violence with Gaza militants. Gantz provided few details about how he was hacked or what information might have fallen into Iranian hands.

The Associated Press