US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Thursday he was unaware of any truth to a media report that Israel has been spying on the United States.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who responded to the espionage question in English, said: "As former head of (IDF) intelligence, I wasn't allowed to spy in the United States whatsoever. And as defense minister I don't allow to spy in the United States whatsoever."
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Israeli officials had reacted furiously to the Newsweek story, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calling it a "malicious calumny".
Ya'alon, who has this year criticized US foreign policymaking, and Hagel both affirmed the strong bond between Israel and the United States, and Hagel noted the record levels of US aid to Israel.
The US defense chief is on a three-day visit to Israel, where he was due to discuss a host of issues, from Iran to Syria to the failed Palestinian peace process.