Israel to share biometric database with US
03 October 2017 15:27 GMT

Opposition Israeli politicians have complained after the leadership admitted that it would be sharing a biometric database with the US.

Israeli media reports that Israel’s Justice Ministry is in contact with the Trump Administration to negotiate American access to Israel’s fingerprint database, while “minimizing” the potential harm to the privacy of Israeli citizens.

"At this stage it is clear that full access to the database is an American threshold prerequisite about which the US Administration will not compromise – requiring Israeli legislative changes that would take back all those promises about your confidential and secure information", wrote an editorial in the Jewish Press.

Critics are linking the issue to efforts to secure a visa waiver for Israelis who wish to enter the United States.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) first announced the effort in May, saying that "I will work in Washington DC on something that is very important to all Israelis," Shaked said of the talks on the visa waiver program. "I hope that we will finalize it in the coming year."

Currently, Israel is not part of the US visa waiver program, and Israelis, especially post army-age have a difficult time obtaining a 90-day tourist visa, as the United States suspects that they will exploit the visa to illegally sell Dead Sea products in malls. Israel has long tried to get into the visa waiver program, which allows for 90-day visits for business purposes.