We gave Ankara se­cret in­tel to thwart ISIS at­tacks, says Katz

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By YONAH JEREMY BOB

As Ankara slams Is­rael regarding the Gaza bor­der cri­sis, In­tel­li­gence Min­is­ter Is­rael Katz said on Wed­nes­day that Is­rael has pro­vided se­cret in­tel­li­gence to help Turkey pre­vent ISIS ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Katz made the state­ment at an in­tel­li­gence con­fer­ence in Tel Aviv spon­sored by the In­tel­li­gence Her­itage and Com­mem­o­ra­tion Cen­ter and Is­rael De­fense mag­a­zine.

The min­is­ter ad­dressed the grow­ing role of hi-tech in the in­tel­li­gence arena, say­ing, “It is not enough to work on tech­nol­ogy, we must lead in that arena.”

At the same con­fer­ence, Deputy National Se­cu­rity Coun­cil chief Ei­tan Ben David said that Is­rael is hop­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­cent leav­ing the Iran nu­clear deal will lead to ei­ther: 1) pres­sure iso­lat­ing Iran glob­ally, or 2) a bet­ter deal ad­dress­ing is­sues of con­cern to Is­rael left out of the first one.

Ben David also dis­cussed the dangers of Iran plac­ing an army of Shi’ite mili­tias in Syria and of joint Iran-Hezbol­lah ef­forts to ad­vance the Le­banese ter­ror­ist group’s weapons ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Re­fer­ring to the Rus­sia piece of the chal­lenge from Iran, Ben David said that Is­rael’s on­go­ing dia­logue with Moscow “is of ma­jor strate­gic value and is very qual­i­ta­tive... to ad­vance Is­raeli in­ter­ests.”

While there is an on­go­ing de­bate as to whether Rus­sia re­strains Iran and Syria at all based on Is­raeli re­quests, af­ter a re­cent Rus­sia-Is­rael meet­ing and Is­rael’s striking of 50 Ira­nian tar­gets in Syria, Rus­sian of­fi­cials seemed to back off from a readi­ness to sell Syria the ad­vanced S-300 an­ti­air­craft sys­tem that would com­pli­cate IDF air strikes.

Se­nior De­fense Min­istry of­fi­cial Zo­har Palti said at the con­fer­ence that Is­rael would not tol­er­ate any Ira­nian pres­ence in Syria, “not 20 kilo­me­ters, 30, 40” or at any dis­tance, and that the Ira­ni­ans “need to go home.”

Palti also said that Is­rael needed to show de­ter­mi­na­tion in the face of the cur­rent Gaza bor­der cri­sis, since the coun­try “can­not com­pro­mise on the se­cu­rity of our vil­lages.”

(Reuters)

IS­RAEL KATZ

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