The Urim base, said our sources, is the centre of a spying network that taps undersea cables (notably Mediterranean cables linking Israel to Europe via Sicily) and has covert listening posts in Israeli embassy buildings abroad. Unit 8200, which is officially part of the Israeli army, also has secret monitoring units within the Palestinian territories and uses Gulfstream jets fitted out as signals intelligence aircraft.
Excluding television satellites, most satellites, in an arc stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, are probable targets: European, Arab, Russian and Asian, as well as the Intelsat and Inmarsat satellites. Images of the base show 30 listening antennas, making Urim one of the largest signals intelligence bases in the world. The only comparable-sized station is a US facility at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, UK.