Monday, February 07, 2011

Israelis to receive special clearance in US airports

Now if only Israelis could get special security clearance on the way out of US airports...without having to go through the naked scanners, life would really be grand.
Israel's Foreign Ministry and US Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Private Sector Douglas Andrew Smith agreed on Sunday that Israel should take part in an American pilot program that would facilitate shared use of the biometric database in order to ease the customs and security checks for travelers arriving at American airports.

The program, entitled Global Entry, will allow expedited clearance to some Israeli citizens upon arriving in the US. The Netherlands already takes part in the program, and a few other nations are waiting to join it as well.
Global Entry provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers (is that profiling?!) upon arrival in the United States. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.
According to estimations, hundreds of Israelis will be able to join the test group in the coming months, and utilized the automated biometrics checks similar to those available at Ben Gurion Airport. The US will determine the criteria by which it will decide who is qualified to enroll in the program.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, this is the first step towards the cancellation of the US visa requirements for Israelis. Ayalon promoted the subject in a conversation with Smith.

"This meeting was very important for the cooperation in the field of homelands security," Ayalon told Ynet. "We have here an expression of trust in the citizens of Israel and its systems, and that is big news." (YNET)
Actually, any airplane landing from Israel should have automatic security clearance, as everyone's been screened by Israel's airport security.

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Anonymous said...

20% of Israeli citizens are Arab...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: If they are arriving in the US, they have been screened by Israel's security.

So what's the problem?

NormanF said...

I don't see a problem with Israelis visiting the US on their passports.

Eliminating US visas would boost Israel's tourism industry. Hopefully, an agreement on that will be in the cards soon.

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