A new legislation that eases up restrictions on cell phone imports has raised concerns in the defense establishment over the reform's implications for Israel's security.
Once it goes into effect, the reform will allow companies to import any cell phone that has been approved by US and European standards. The measure, which was signed this week by the Economic Affairs Committee, is expected to drive device prices down.
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IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz has warned Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently that the reform could have "major security ramifications," Ynet has learned.
Defense officials fear that slack restrictions on which cell phones can be imported could mean disruptions to operational communication frequencies, including that of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Upon Barak's orders, the Defense Ministry has asked the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee to delay discussing the legislation until the matter can be thoroughly probed.
Ministry officials have also written a counterproposal calling for the establishment of a committee within the Communications Ministry to monitor cell phone imports. Representatives of the ministry are to be part of the committee.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the army's policy on the issue is in the works and should be finalized in the coming days.
The Communications Ministry, which is driving the reform, dismissed the concerns as "much ado about nothing."
"The defense establishment has supported the new regulations. The dispute is about monitoring," officials in the ministry said, noting that the matter is expected to be resolved in a meeting on Thursday.
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