"The real-time exchange of information with our international partners
is critical to our efforts to enhance overall global aviation security,"
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. "This agreement will
allow the United States and Israel to better coordinate on and respond to
potential aviation security incidents to strengthen our mutual safety."
The MoU also stipulates measures for cooperation in aviation safety, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said the the Homeland Security Department has already deployed
personnel in Israel.
"MoU implementation will further improve the effectiveness of the
cooperation between the respective civil aviation security authorities,"
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said. "Such International collaboration
is of particular importance to ensure effective response to the evolving
threat to international aviation."
[Such cooperation has paid off in the past, including in 2009 when Hamas acquired smuggled U.S. Stinger air defense systems. [Hamas couldn't fire smuggled Stingers against Israelis due to embedded ID system] Hamas was unable to use them due to installed friend/foe identification capabilities.]
Officials said the MoU would pave the way for cooperation between the
U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the Transportation
Ministry's Security Department. They said the two bodies would establish
contact, set protocol and conduct periodic exercises.
This marked the second MoU by the Homeland Security Department and an
Israeli ministry. In 2007, the department signed an agreement with the
Israeli Public Security Ministry to share information on a range of domestic
security concerns, including aviation security, emergency planning and
response, homeland security-related research and protocols.