<
>

Israel part of seven-nation security task force

6/23/2004

JERUSALEM -- Israel will play a major role in securing the
Athens Olympics, with its navy patrolling the Greek coast and
military and intelligence officers working closely with the Greek
armed forces, the U.S. Army and NATO.

Israel also is advising Greece on how to seal its airspace and
coastal waters in the event of a terror attack, Israeli military
officials said Tuesday.

A seven-nation security task force, including the United States,
Britain and Israel, is part of the $1.2 billion security plans for
the Aug. 13-29 games.

There already are ties involving the Israeli navy, its Greek
counterpart, the U.S. 6th Fleet and the relevant air forces.
Greece, the U.S. Army and NATO also are in close contact with
Israeli intelligence, the officials said.

Israel expects one of its senior officers to be at NATO's
southern command headquarters in Naples, Italy, during the games.
NATO is still undecided on such close Israeli involvement, the
officials added.

Private Israeli firms will also contribute to the Greek security
effort, supplying patrol boats for the Greek navy, closed-circuit
TV and other monitoring systems for the streets of Athens and other
services.

Israel's Shin Bet security agency will protect the Israeli team,
guarding Israeli quarters in the Olympic village, sites Israeli
athletes may visit and sailing events off the Greek coast. The
agency has provided such protection since the 1972 killing of 11
Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

The Olympic guard detail will be Israel's largest because of
intelligence estimates of a potential terrorism against Israelis at
the Athens Games, officials said.

Greek officials said the foreign security agents will not be
allowed to carry firearms.