Israel and Europol, the European Union’s police agency, signed an agreement to cooperate more closely against terrorism and organized crime, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
The agreement was between Israeli Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle in The Hague.
This is the first time that Europol has signed a cooperation agreement with a non-EU country.
In a statement released by Europol, Alsheich said, “The agreement will enable the Investigations and Intelligence Division of the Israel National Police to advance its capabilities to deal in the best way possible with new threats in the field of organized crime, cybercrime exploited by international criminal and terrorist elements, fighting terrorism in its various forms, and crime that crosses borders in the field of social economies.”
De Bolle said, “Today, I am signing the first ever Europol working arrangement between Europol and a non-EU country. These provisions were introduced last year in the Europol legislation. It is a major step forward in enhancing the relationship between Europol and Israel. The arrangement will multiply contacts at all levels and open doors to closer cooperation, making the European Union and Israel safer.”
The Europol statement observed that the EU has often linked financial crimes to Israel, and noted that “the Israeli contribution in such cases continues to be of utmost importance.”
The agreement appears to be a sign that Israel will act more aggressively against financial crime.
Overall the newly agreed-to law enforcement cooperation between Israel and the EU “will multiply contacts at all levels and open doors to closer cooperation, making the European Union and Israel safer,” according to the Europol statement.
[Photo: Israel Police / Facebook ]