Israel ‘passed intelligence’ to France about attacks

Israel ‘passed intelligence’ to France about attacks
Israel on Sunday said its security services were helping France investigate the Paris attacks, and Israeli media suggested intelligence being provided drew on surveillance of groups in Syria and Iraq.
2 min read
15 November, 2015
Israeli politicians have seized on the massacre in to push their agenda [Getty]

Israel has shared intelligence information at its disposal with France, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office, and Israeli media suggested that intelligence being provided drew on surveillance of militant groups in Syria and Iraq. 

Netanyahu said he had ordered full cooperation with French and other European authorities.

"The cooperation is ongoing, but in accordance with the prime minister's directive, intelligence material relevant to what happened has been relayed, and we will also deepen the cooperation," Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told reporters.

"This information can help the French, and not just the French, by the way, to deal with the aftermath, and not just with what happened, but also with terrorist attacks planned for the future," Katz said. He declined to give further details.  

Israel's Army Radio said electronic surveillance of Syria and Iraq  where Islamic State militants control swathes of territory may have yielded intelligence on the organisation of the Paris attacks.

'More security, fewer rights'

According to the Israeli television station Channel Two, Israel had no advance warning of the Paris attacks but within hours of the assaults gave France details on some of the Islamic State militants believed to have carried them out.

Citing an unnamed senior Israeli official, Channel Two said Israel saw a "clear operational link" between the Paris attacks, Thursday's Beirut suicide bombings and the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian airliner in the Egyptian Sinai.

Israeli media and politicians have seized on the massacre in the French capital to push their agenda.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday that European nations must reduce their focus on human rights in favour of more security.

"In Europe, the balance between security and human rights has until now leaned in favour of human rights, but there is no longer any choice," Yaalon told army radio.

"The balance must now be tipped toward security to defend democracy."

He urged laws to allow for a "more effective fight against terrorism".

"Europeans understood that there was a danger, but the measures that should have been taken were not, such as changes in legislation allowing surveillance of potential terrorists, for example," the minister said.

Yaalon, an ally of Netanyahu, also urged passport controls in Europe and tighter access to public places.

He said action should be taken in Turkey to "bridge the gap" meaning to stop the flow of European travelling via the country to train with the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq before returning home.