Israel’s Central Elections Committee said Wednesday that it is devising a detailed plan of action to thwart attempts by foreign countries to meddle in the April 9 Knesset elections, following a reported alert from the head of the Shin Bet security agency that such attempts are being made by a country that cannot be named by orders from the military censor. “Together with security bodies, we learned what happened in other countries and we are devising a plan of action,” the body in charge of organizing the national ballot said in a statement. The statement came a day after reports that Shin Bet chief Nadav Argamon had warned a foreign state “intends to intervene” through cyberattacks in Israel’s elections. The name of the state was gagged by the military censor.
The elections committee said Israeli officials had met with senior representatives from Facebook, which was a conduit for a large amount of election meddling traced to Russia in the 2016 US election cycle. According to the committee, all bodies involved in the election process have been alerted, though it said it could not detail what actions were being taken for security reasons.
Election interference has been high on the international agenda ever since America’s 2016 presidential election, in which Russian hackers stole and published more than 150,000 emails from various Democratic targets in what US spymasters and senior lawmakers have described as a wide-ranging effort to help elect Trump. In addition, US security agencies say that Russian agents successfully ran political influence operations by disseminating “fake news” aimed at swaying the election.