The Jerusalem Post
Israel Security Prize awarded to four classified projects
Four classified defense projects by the mossad, shin Bet (Israel security agency), IdF, defense ministry’s administration for the development of Weapons and technological Infrastructure (maFat) and Israeli defense companies have been awarded the country’s top security prize.
the ceremony took place monday at the president’s residence, and the awards were presented by outgoing president reuven rivlin, defense minister Benny Gantz, IdF Chief of staff lt.-Gen. aviv Kohavi and defense ministry director-General amir eshel.
the awards were for outstanding projects and programs that have contributed to Israel’s security and to its qualitative edge.
according to the ministry, “in an exceptional move,” Gantz approved awarding four awards instead of three this year.
one project by the IdF’s unit 8200 in the Intelligence division developed a “unique, groundbreaking and exceptional intelligence accessibility” for the intelligence community. the project led to a “significant” leap in capabilities, the defense ministry said.
the award was also given to the IdF’s C4I Corps, the shin Bet, the defense ministry, the national Cyber division, the mossad and the IdF’s Intelligence directorate for a cyberdefense project. the project was designed to provide cyberdefense while developing customized technological capabilities against cyberattacks.
another project, by maFat, the air force, rafael and IaI provided the military with “innovative solutions.” during the project, which lasted over a decade, developers faced unprecedented “technical knowledge gaps” and had to deal with uncertainty as there was no precedent to build upon.
another winner of the award was a project done by maFat, unit 81 in the IdF’s Intelligence division, mossad, air force, rafael and Israel aerospace Industries. the project was able to provide the IdF with a “professional, unique and significant capability.”
“Giving this ability to the IdF stemmed from breakthroughs, unique and dedicated developments while demonstrating daring, vision, determination and creativity as a result of hard work and integration of all parties involved,” said the ministry.
maFat, which works with the IdF and civilian companies
and engages in extensive cooperation with many countries, is critical in providing the technology that makes it possible for the IdF to outflank its enemies.
rivlin, who has presented the award every year for the
past seven years, noted his appreciation for the “sophisticated systems” and developments by those whose activity “is done, naturally, away from the spotlight and from public knowledge.”
“the man behind the system is the foundation and the main thing. Without it, even the most innovative technological development cannot protect us,” rivlin said, adding that while the citizens of Israel “may not know how much gratitude they owe to the award winners for their work, believe me, they feel it.”
at the ceremony, Gantz said the prizes were examples of cooperation between security bodies, and that Israel must have a strong military because its enemies are also getting stronger.
the defense minister said he turned to defense industries for solutions for IdF special missions “more than once” in the past year.
“We saw their benefits during operation Guardian of the Walls – the precision and unprecedented intelligence employed during an operation that minimized harm to uninvolved civilians when compared to the extent of the aerial operations. the targeting of terrorists was effective and powerful,” he said.
according to Gantz, “these days, the entire middle east is on the verge of an arms race, particularly if Iran continues to advance toward the nuclear threshold. We are vigilant in the face of all these threats. our defense systems, most of which were developed in Israel, are deployed and our intelligence works at all times to identify threats and targets.”
Israel, Gantz warned, “is fully aware of what is happening in the region and our policy is unequivocal: we will not tolerate any violation of Israeli sovereignty; not by incendiary balloons or rockets, or by any other means pursued by Iran and its affiliates. We will respond powerfully, based on our needs and at the right time for us .... We operate at all hours, by a variety of means and in close coordination with our allies, especially the united states. We will cooperate with anyone who wants to bring stability and peace to the region.”
thanking the recipients, he said they were able to defend the state of Israel against various threats on different fronts, “threats that sometimes the public, who sleeps well at night, did not even know existed.”
the award has been presented each year for more than 60 years to people and projects based on technological achievements that have made a significant contribution to the country’s security and provide unique operational responses. It is named after eliyahu Golomb, the commander of the hagana.