Israel to sign intelligence-sharing pact with Europol agency: report
Jan HENNOP (AFP)
Israel is at the beginning stages of signing a joint-agreement between the Israeli police and Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, Walla Hebrew media outlet reported on Sunday.
The agreement would allow for intelligence sharing between Israeli security forces and the EU but stipulates that Europol would not use information that was collected beyond the Green Line, in accordance with the EU's policy not to recognize any territory taken by Israel in 1967. This could be problematic, particularly in regards to information coming from Jerusalem, as East Jerusalem falls outside 67 borders but the western part of the city does not.
European sources told Walla that the wording of the agreement has not yet been finalized because the European Union is waiting for Israelis to approve a final draft that was sent to Jerusalem some six months ago.
Europol coordinates information sharing and law enforcement between 28 European countries in order to combat terror and crime.It opens some 40,000 investigations per year, including terror, drug smuggling, cyber-attacks and organized crime. Europol also has a joint-agreement with 15 other countries including the United States, Canada and Switzerland.
The move is an attempt by Europol to step up its efforts in combating a global rise in terror.
A spokesperson for the Israeli police told Walla that "the discussions with Europol are happening on several different channels and leave a wide range of options open for collaboration according to the policies Europol has developed for dealing with countries outside of its territory. These conversations are not being delayed by either side."
A political source told Walla that the agreement has already been approved by Israel's foreign ministry and that the collaboration will improve Israel's ability to combat terror and crime.
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