WASHINGTON – This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel to sign security agreements with the Government of Israel, engage with key Israeli government and private sector partners on a range of joint security issues, and deliver keynote remarks on DHS cybersecurity priorities at the CyberTech Global Conference.
“DHS is proud to continue to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the United States and Israel through new security arrangements,” said DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “The arrangements signed this week between our Department and the Government of Israel underscore that Israel is a critical partner in advancing a broad range of international technology and security priorities.”
Under Secretary Silvers and Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) Director General Gaby Portnoy issued a Joint Statement of Intent that reflects a shared commitment between the two agencies to work together to combat ransomware, bolster cooperative research and development, strengthen critical infrastructure cybersecurity, increase resilience to cyber threats, and pursue expert exchanges in the area of emerging technology.
Building on the long-standing relationship between DHS and INCD, Under Secretary Silvers and Director Portnoy signed an arrangement with Israel’s Ministry of Public Security for INCD to join the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Homeland Security Program, which will facilitate cyber-related research and development to enhance both countries’ resilience to evolving threats. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further the joint work between INCD and DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to advance cybersecurity cooperation in the aviation, maritime, mass transit, freight and passenger rail, and oil and natural gas sectors.
In addition, Under Secretary Silvers met with Israeli Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked and Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev to sign an Enhanced Border Security Partnership arrangement, which will further increase DHS’s ability to detect threats through biometric information sharing. The arrangement and its implementation advance Secretary Mayorkas’s priority and both countries’ shared objective that Israel join the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as soon as it has met all program requirements. DHS continues to work closely with the Israeli Ministry of Interior and the United States Embassy in Jerusalem in furtherance of this goal.
Under Secretary Silvers also met with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to expand counterterrorism cooperation, signing a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to strengthen the bilateral partnership in combating terrorist financing and other illicit financial activities. In Tel Aviv, Under Secretary Silvers met with executives from the Israeli technology industry to discuss the importance of public-private partnerships and operational collaboration in elevating cybersecurity as a top priority.
Under Secretary Silvers delivered a keynote address at the CyberTech Global Conference at the Tel Aviv Expo where he emphasized the importance of international cooperation and the U.S.-Israel relationship in addressing shared cybersecurity threats. Under Secretary Silvers also spoke about two of DHS’s flagship public-private sector initiatives in cybersecurity, the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) and the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC).