BERLIN (JTA) — Germany and Israel are coming together to fight terrorism and international crime.
Wolfgang Schauble, the German minister of the Interior, and Avi Dichter, Israel’s minister for public security, made the joint announcement of the countries’ formal cooperation Tuesday.
Calling Israel Germany’s "most important and trusted partner in the Middle East," Schauble said that it was in the interest of both countries to deepen their cooperation.
"Experts in both our countries tap into a great fund of experience and knowledge" in the fight against terrorism and other forms of crime, he said.
The declaration of intent defines several areas in which the countries can cooperate in order to prevent and limit threats. A joint working group is planned that will coordinate cooperation in such areas as "criminal technology" and defusing explosives. The working group is to meet in the near future, it was announced.
Germany and Israel also are working on a five-year joint project to develop sensors that can distinguish nuclear armed warheads from decoys in case of an attack.
Reported Nov. 3 by Defense News online, the classified program — nicknamed Bluebird — involves what is known in the United States as an Airborne Early Warning Sensor. The project was confirmed by both the Israeli and German defense ministries, but they would not provide further details.
Israel reportedly is asking the United States for help, so the experimental detection technology can be deployed. The Pentagon told Defense News in October that the U.S. Missile Defense Agency was considering Israel’s request.