Science & Technology

Israeli Defense Ministry Exercises Caution Over Israeli Private Intelligence Contracts In Qatar

Israeli private security firm Sdema Group seeks lucrative contract for millions of Euros to provide physical and cyber security for the Qatar 2022 World Cup soccer competition
Screenshot from YouTube.

Labeled as the “first peace deal in the Middle East in the last 20 years” by Senior Advisor to President Trump Jared Kushner, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel have officially normalized relations.

In the same Friday White House televised signing, President Trump praised Kushner as a key part of brokering the deal between the Jewish and Emirati states, undoubtedly shifting the Middle East power structure between Tehran and the Jerusalem-Washington coalition.

Coinciding with expanding security business between both nations, UAE’s Persian Gulf neighbor Qatar has been quick to harp on their own piece of Israeli security and intelligence services and technology.

The Sdema Group, an Israeli security firm, has landed a “several dozen million-euro contract to provide physical and cyber-security services to Qatar’s World Cup facilities,” reports Intelligence Online.

Mediated outside of the court system and out of public scrutiny, — as both sides look to mask the extent of their dealings with Qatar authorities — Israeli private intelligence business in Qatar hangs in a precarious balance.

Shooting out into the heart of the Persian Gulf, Qatar plays both sides of the pendulum — allowing the stationing of American troops inside the peninsula while also maintaining relations with one of America and Israel’s most substantial enemies, Iran.

“The Israeli defense ministry was concerned about sensitive software being supplied to an ally of Hamas and Turkey, with whom tensions have worsened. The contract was scaled back considerably from its initial scope, much to Sdema’s chagrin,” reports Intelligence Online.

Known to harbor top Hamas generals among other terrorist groups, all diplomatic ties with Qatar were cut off by neighboring Arab nations Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE since 2017.

Despite the security risks in regards to Qatar’s connections with and harboring of terrorists, the Sdema Group is by no means the only private Israeli security firm in-country.

The “NSO Group, the Herzliya-based interception firm headed by Shalev Hulio, worked for the emirate for a long time, alongside Gamma Group, maker of the software program FinFisher. Candiru, also known as Saito Tech (previously Taveta Ltd) founded by Isaac Zack, is another supplier of cyber-intrusion tools that has become closer to Qatar,” wrote Intelligence Online.

As Israel begins to establish new ties with the Persian Gulf states, the Jewish State will not just have more friends in the region to steer their security and intelligence industry to, but they will have new friends to exert crucial pressure on Qatar to move away from Iran and further towards the Israeli-U.S. orbit.

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