Iranian Spies’ Success at Recruiting a Former Israeli Government Minister Isn’t the Coup It Seems to Be

June 26 2018

News broke last week that Gonen Segey, a former Knesset member and minister of energy and infrastructure, had been arrested in Israel on charges of spying for Iran. Segev, who had previously served a prison term for drug smuggling, fraud, and forgery, has been out of office since 1996. Eran Lerman tries to make sense of this turn of events:

If [Iranian intelligence] did, in fact, see Segev as an asset worth cultivating, it raises questions as to the value of the information he supplied and the priority given to the information Iranian intelligence was tasked with obtaining. We can already say with certainty that this was not information about plans by the Israeli government that would deter Iran. For some time now, Segev has not had access to that kind of information, and his conviction for drug dealing has kept him at a distance from power players. . . .

[T]he Iranians—seeking to destroy Israel—are mainly interested in identifying targets to attack, especially major ones. The former energy minister is an asset who can produce a lot in this area, as someone who was responsible for sensitive infrastructure systems.

It is hard to say how much damage has been done and it will be discovered only through a detailed investigation. But even if we are satisfied with what we already know, we can understand plenty about Iran and its goals and the limits of the Iranian intelligence community’s capabilities. If this is the best they could do, Israel’s proven intelligence superiority is in no danger.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Intelligence, Iran, Israel & Zionism

The Palestinian Authority Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Jan. 31 2023

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced that they had ceased all security cooperation with Israel; the next two days saw two deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. But the PA has in the past made numerous threats that it will sever its ties with the Israeli government, and has so far never made good on them. Efraim Inbar poses a different set of questions: does cooperation with Palestinian leaders who actively encourage—and provide financial incentives for—the murder of Jews really help Israel protect its citizens? And might there be a better alternative?

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems unable to rule effectively, i.e., to maintain a modicum of law and order in the territories under his control. He lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, and we now see the “Lebanonization” of the PA taking place in the West Bank: the emergence of myriad armed groups, with some displaying only limited loyalty to the PA, and others, especially the Islamists, trying to undermine the current regime.

[The PA’s] education system and media continue propagating tremendous hostility toward Jews while blaming Israel for all Palestinian problems. Security cooperation with Israel primarily concerns apprehending armed activists of the Islamist opposition, as the PA often turns a blind eye to terrorist activities against Israel. In short, Abbas and his coterie are part of the problem, not of the solution. Jerusalem should thus think twice about promoting efforts to preserve PA rule and prevent a descent into chaos while rejecting the reoccupation of the West Bank.

Chaos is indeed not a pleasant prospect. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem to Israel, but one that will be mitigated if the various Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other. A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against it. In addition, anarchy in the territories may give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror