US, Israel Intelligence Collaboration at an All-Time High

“And when the seventh month was come, and B‘nei Yisrael were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Yerushalayim.” Ezra 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Transport Minister Israel Katz, who is also Minister of Intelligence, told Makor Rishon Friday that “US intelligence chiefs say they are receiving more intelligence from Israel than they do from all the other US allies put together.” In fact, Israeli Intelligence sources are saying that the collaboration between American and Israeli clandestine services has been increasing over the past few years, despite the murky relationship between outgoing President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

MK Israel Katz

According to the Makor Rishon report, all of Israel’s Intelligence agencies maintains permanent missions in the US, with regular work teams that coordinate information routinely and share sensitive information each side receives.

US National Security Agency director Adm. Michael Rogers reportedly visited Israel in March 2016 to discuss cooperation in cyber defense, particularly with regard to Iranian and Hezbollah infiltration attempts. In April 2016, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the US could learn from Israel’s “forward-thinking approach” to cyber security. And in June 2016, Israel and the US Department of Homeland Security signed an agreement to share cyber defense and intelligence information automatically, a US initiative that includes several Western countries.

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According to a 2013 Guardian report, there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NSA and Israel’s Signit agency (ISNU), whereby the “NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel,” meaning that the NSA routinely shares raw intelligence data it gathers with Israel, without removing information about US citizens.

The Guardian noted that despite the fact that Israel is not a part of the five core countries involved in surveillance sharing with the US – Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, it still receives the same complete raw data as those other close allies do.