By Zuhair Andraos
Media reports in Israel claim that Gulf countries receive oil well security technology from an Israeli company. According to Kalcalist economic newspaper, the company operates in a number of Gulf states and specialises in security and protecting confidential information. It has, apparently, rejected any notion of military censorship imposed by the Israeli authorities and has an annual turnover of around $7 billion.
The newspaper also claims that it is company policy to recruit former senior officers from the Israel defence forces. All members of staff sign a strict agreement not to disclose any information about the nature of their work or the location. Although the company has a branch in Herzliya just north of Tel Aviv, for tax reasons it is Swiss-based.
A source within the company told the newspaper that the Director-General has recently signed the largest contract between the company and one of the Gulf states, although the name of the country was not disclosed. However, it is known that protection will be provided for oil installations as well as other national infrastructure. One senior employee, who requested anonymity, told the newspaper, "We analyze the security changes, identify suspicious patterns and translate data into information that allows intelligence to prevent threats."
Kalcalist claims that new systems helped Dubai Police to track down members of an Israeli Mossad team who assassinated the Hamas commander Mahmoud Mabhuh in January this year, but did not disclose if this Israeli company had been involved.
The company, it is claimed, gets around trade embargos by re-branding products that are developed and bought in Israel prior to exporting them to the Gulf.
According to the report, the company employs 600 people and the former head of military intelligence in Israel, General Amos Malka, is a director. One of his senior colleagues in the company is David Ben Baasht, who commanded the Israeli navy during the second Lebanon war. Moreover, the company has recruited the former commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Eitan Ben Eliyahu, to work on the development of unmanned aircraft, an appointment which has irritated Israel's military industries.
The paper confirmed that although the company is known to have good relations with the majority of Israeli companies operating in the security industry, its work is still highly classified and few people know what's going on behind closed doors. A senior official in the military industrial complex says that the Arab states which buy products from the company are well aware that it's an Israeli company but all parties prefer to keep their deals secret.
The company declined to comment on the claims made by the article, saying only that it operates according to the Israeli Defence Ministry's regulations.
Source: Al Quds Al Arabi