Israel fails to protect vital interests in Chinese owned port, expert says

Since the authorization of emergency edicts to protect economic, social and security interests was not extended to the critical infrastructure, Transportation Ministry remiss, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee told

Israel refuses to deal with the security risk emanating from the fact that a port in Haifa that is not bound by critical emergency edicts, is in fact owned by a China, a powerful country that is part of the Iran axis of nations that are hostile to Israel.
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Not subjecting the port to the authority of emergency edicts was done by mistake when in 2019 the Chinese company, SIPG was given authorization to operate the port for 25 years, by then Transportation Minister Israel Katz.
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נמל חיפה
נמל חיפה
Haifa Port
(Photo: Ari Rabinovitch / Reuters )
The emergency edicts ensure that Israel's economic, social and security interests are protected even after a strategic infrastructure is given into private ownership. They replaced the "golden stock" that used to maintain government authority over companies sold out of the public sector.
The edicts specify that the CEO and chairman of the privately-owned infrastructure would be Israelis with a high-level security clearance. The port, which is 61% Chinese government owned does not maintain an Israeli identity.
Harel Menashri who was among the founders of the cybersecurity section in the Shin Bet and is a senior lecturer at the Holon Institute for Technology (HIT) warned in a letter addressed to Yuli Edelstein who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the failure to subjugate the Haifa Port to edicts is a risk to Israel' security. He said Israel allowed China to increase its holding in critical Israeli infrastructure without proper supervision or enforcement tools.
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בנימין נתניהו ושגריר סין בישראל
בנימין נתניהו ושגריר סין בישראל
Chinese Ambassador to Israel Cai Run with Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in 2023
The port said in response that the letter authorizing its management includes commitments identical to the edicts including a restriction on transfer of stock and strict security regulations.
The Transportation Ministry said as a company that was not privatized, the law does not allow edicts to be enforced on it.
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