Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ireland seeks to block Israel access to data on EU citizens/IDF tracking aid ship: Any attempt to reach Gaza will be thwarted

Published 03:09 11.07.10

Ireland seeks to block Israel access to data on EU citizens

Irish government retaliates over use of forged Irish passports by alleged Mossad spies in Dubai assassination.

By Ora Coren

Ireland is seeking to stop a European Union initiative that would enable Israel to receive sensitive information about European citizens, due to concerns about the use that Israel would make of this information, the Irish minister for justice said over the weekend.

In what may be another blow to Israel's international status, Dermott Ahern said that since Israel allegedly used forged Irish passports to carry out the hit on Hamas official Mohammed al-Mabhouh in Dubai, Israel should not be allowed access to this data. Israel has not admitted to a role in the assassination.

Under a plan put forward at the beginning of the year, the European organizations for protecting individuals' privacy agreed that Israeli companies and European companies should be able to exchange information about customers.

For example, this would mean that an Israeli customer of a local cell phone company, say, Pelephone, would be able to use his phone to connect to the Internet, say, in Italy, and the Italian telecom would be able to receive his personal data from Pelephone and charge his account accordingly. The same would be true for people with European cell phones in Israel who wanted to use Israeli networks.

In addition, multinational corporations would be able to entrust Israeli companies to secure their databases, and the data could be stored on servers in Israel. Plus, information about employees could be passed freely between European and Israeli branches of the same company.

In agreeing to grant this access, the EU authorities decided that Israel had proper information protection systems in place.

However, the plan still needs to be ratified by the government of each individual EU member country before it can take force.

Beyond easing companies' operations, the plan is also intended to make it easier for the authorities to catch cases of money laundering.

Currently, passing data between Israel and Europe is dependent on explicit contracts, which fund many a lawyer's income. The initiative would do away with one of the last remaining trade barriers with Europe.,7340,L-3917779,00.html

IDF tracking aid ship: Any attempt to reach Gaza will be thwarted

Barak calls Libyan ship's voyage 'unnecessary provocation'; suggests it dock in Ashdod or 'sail directly to Egypt.' Activist: Our job is to help people in need

Hanan Greenberg


07.10.10, 23:33 / Israel News

The Israeli Navy is planning to keep track of the Libyan aid ship to make certain it does not try to dock in Gaza, this despite documents indicating that the vessel's destination is the El Arish harbor in Egypt.

The ship set sail from Greece on Saturday, and the Greek government said it had reached an agreement with the crew according to which the ship would not try to reach the Hamas-ruled territory.


Following the May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine Turkish nationals dead, the Navy is taking no chances and plans to keep track of the Libyan vessel's voyage using various devices.


"Any deviation from the original course, which will lead the ship to Gaza, will be blocked by the Navy," an IDF official said Saturday night. "In case those on board fail to follow our instructions to stop and allow the Navy vessels to escort them, we will not hesitate to employ other methods to stop them."


Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the Libyan aid vessel's journey an "unnecessary provocation," and suggested that the ship allow Navy vessels to escort it to Ashdod Port "or sail directly to El Arish Port."


"Goods can be transferred to Gaza through the Ashdod Port after they are inspected, but we will not permit the transfer of weapons or ammunition to Gaza," he said.

A charity chaired by the Libyan Leader's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is organizing the trip and said the Amalthea, re-named Hope for the trip, carried some 2,000 tons of food and medicine and complied with international rules.

The trip is expected to take between 70 and 80 hours.

One of the activists said, "Our job is to help people in need – be they Catholic, Muslim or anything else. Now we are helping the people of Gaza, who are suffering."


Roni Sofer and Reuters contributed to the report


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