For more than six decades, the reality of life in Israel has forced Israelis to defend themselves against constant terrorist threats. As a result, the Jewish state has become a leader in designing techniques and technologies in the arenas of homeland security and counter-terrorism. Israel is working with U.S. government and private entities to develop technologies and equipment aimed at thwarting terrorism and safeguarding citizens from both nations.
The Transportation Security Administration and airport officials from around the United States have been working with world-renowed security experts at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport in order to learn how to efficiently improve airline security.
In March 2010, the United States and Israel signed an agreement to increase aviation security cooperation. The two allies will conduct drills reviewing procedures in case of attacks and share codes that send immediate alerts if passengers try to commit acts of terror.
Israeli police forces train international peers in security procedures ranging from combating terrorism to preparing for mass casualty emergencies. Israel has worked with multiple American agencies, including the FBI, NYPD, LAPD, and Washington, D.C. Police Department. The U.S. Capitol Police have also undergone training in Israeli counterterrorism techniques.
American observers from FEMA and the National Guard often travel to Israel to participate in Israeli homeland security drills. In January 2010, Israel conducted a large-scale bio-terrorism drill simulating a smallpox outbreak caused by a terrorist attack. Since then, FEMA and the Israeli National Emergency Authority have signed a formal agreement to conduct more joint-training drills and exercises.
FEMA and U.S. National Guard officials have traveled to Israel to study the Jewish state’s nation-wide emergency management drills and procedures. The drills replicate a multitude of disaster scenarios including natural disasters, biological disasters and emergencies at schools and hospitals. Lessons learned through the drills provide American officials invaluable intelligence, experience and knowledge.
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