Shin Bet Chief presents rare look at hi-tech companies helping it combat Hamas

The Shin Bet chief said it was critical to give his talented agents room to grow * Initiative co-sponsored by Intelligence Ministry

 IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police conducted arrests in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday night, arresting a total of 13 wanted individuals, June 28, 2022. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police conducted arrests in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday night, arresting a total of 13 wanted individuals, June 28, 2022.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar presented a rare look at five hi-tech companies that will be specifically dedicated to the agency’s combatting Hamas.

The closed event in Ashkelon was only the second semi-public event where the Shin Bet exposed its latest effort via its technology “garage” to fund and integrate private-sector technology companies to help in its war against terrorism.

The first event took place in Tel Aviv in March led by garage chief “Ido,” but Thursday’s event was targeted toward the Shin Bet’s Southern Division, with responsibility for Gaza intelligence and operations.

The Shin Bet, the Intelligence Ministry and the Sosa Hlstech Innovation Hub, which is the main civilian sector bridge for the five companies, all emphasized that opening this new section in Ashkelon, which traditionally sits in the Tel Aviv area, both facilitates the country’s goal of boosting the periphery and is a strategic move to specifically help with technological issues that the agency’s southern division deals with regarding Gaza.

“The national power of Israel – what do we have?,” said Bar. “The integration between people and technological potential. We call this innovation. It is not surprising that they strongly presented to the US president Israeli technology. Our neighborhood is not the most sympathetic. We need to always be prepared. I am very happy with the cooperation between the Shin Bet and the civilian sector.”

 Yair Lapid holds first meeting with Shin Bet chief as Israeli PM July 1, 2022. (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO) Yair Lapid holds first meeting with Shin Bet chief as Israeli PM July 1, 2022. (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

The Shin Bet chief said it was critical to give his talented agents room to grow and to find solutions to anti-terror issues that they note in the field, even if it means finding the answers in the private sector.

Fighting against technological obsolesce 

“G” from the Shin Bet’s technology division explained that “dozens of startups applied. We chose five for the first class of the Ashkelon Shin Bet technology ‘accelerator.’ This is a natural and integral part of the Shin Bet’s work. There is fast-paced change, and we need to be ready for future challenges.”

Without working with the best private sector talent, “G” said, intelligence agencies worldwide could find themselves quickly becoming obsolete.

Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern said that intelligence agencies worldwide often make the mistake of thinking they know everything.

Stern said that the Shin Bet is better than this, and part of its positive impact is that it knows it is talented and creative, but also that “we don’t have everything. Sometimes there are ideas from the outside.”

Intelligence Ministry Director-General Dr. Alex Dan said the ministry viewed “the current event as a substantial foundation in building the required technological capabilities – capabilities built on initiative and innovation."

One of the five Shin Bet-funded start-ups, Mindsview, developed a televideo consulting system called the ARNet for attending physicians to consult with a remote specialist physician, while transferring a complete “snapshot” (audio, video, data,) of the patient and his environment with crucial graphic markings.

“The accurate marking technology can be implemented in AR glasses that look like regular glasses used by an agent, that can get high accuracy signs and marks in order to recognize suspicious people in crowd areas,” according to the marketing material. “The information will be transmitted from a remote intelligence center without drawing attention.”

Combatica training simulator platform

“The platform will allow squads to train in a realistic environment against AI-powered enemies or against each other,” the marketing material said. “The technology allows complete freedom of movement during the training session. The platform will include AI-powered enemies, data-driven after-action reviews, realistic weapons with recoil, a custom scenario-building tool and fully dynamic 3D environments.”

“The platform will allow squads to train in a realistic environment against AI-powered enemies or against each other.”

Combatica training simulator marketing material

Flyz robotics

Flyz Robotics is an aerial dynamic sensor installation system that enables its Dorbot (A 250gr Robot) to perch on vertical walls or “leave a wide range of sensors on such walls to provide a live video stream, open communication network and sense things in a single click for hours\days, without leaving any residue.

While current public cameras are static and limited to a fixed narrow field of view drones are not utilized as a sufficient replacement for cameras due to its short service time, Drobot system bypasses battery constraints and serves for a longer time than a heavier drone.”