Gov't to establish water security authority

Sunday, November 05, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The Israeli government has decided to establish a new national authority which will be charged with the task of securing Israel’s water infrastructure and resources. The authority will coordinate and lead the care for scenarios of terror attacks against the water infrastructure like poisoning reservoirs or blowing up water pipes.

Infrastructure Minister Benyamin Ben-Eliezer has decided to establish the authority after warnings that terror groups might attack Israel’s precious water sources. An incident which expedited the formation of the authority was a direct hit of a Katyusha rocket during the war at a major reservoir in the north, which underlined the fact that there is no central body responsible for the security of the water resources.

The authority will be used as a professional inter-ministry headquarters for water security and will be assisting the Israeli Water Commissioner to prepare for threats against the water infrastructure, manage incidents, and act to prevent them.

The Water Commissioner will lead the new security authority and will be assisted by representatives from the Ministry of Defense, the IDF, Israeli Police, the Anti-Terrorism Bureau, the Ministries of Health, Infrastructure, Environmental Protection, the Water Commission, the Atomic Energy Commission, and Emergency Market Authority.

The tasks of the commission will include mapping out of the threats to water, creating scenarios of attacks on water, coordination between ministries and proper authorities, coordinating the internal procedures of the bodies involved in the authority, and establishing the correct methods to protect the water infrastructure from attacks. The authority will also be a coordinating and assisting body for the Water Commissioner in case of an attack, including assessments and recommendations for action.

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