Israel is on guard against hacking ahead of the next general election, one of its most senior cyber security officials said, identifying Iran as posing the greatest overall risk to the country’s cyber security. The government is bracing against the risks of fake news, possible denial of service attacks on civic institutions, or efforts to hack the correspondence of politicians or government officials in order to leak embarrassing details. “We are on the way to identifying and assisting from a distance everywhere we find or identify as a vulnerability … and make it tougher for the bad guys to hack,” Yigal Unna, head of technology at the prime minister’s cyber directorate, told a Reuters Cyber Security Summit. Since the 2016 U.S. election, Western countries have been fretting about the possibility of Russian hacking to influence their internal politics.
Articles about voting issues in the State of Israel.
Fear of moderate and centrist members who have joined Likud could cause anyone who has joined the party recently to not be able to choose the party’s next Knesset list, Likud officials said Sunday. The party has embarked on a series of steps against the so-called New Likudniks, a group of centrists who want the party to become more moderate and return to values they say existed when Likud was led by then-prime minister Menachem Begin and are no longer prevalent in the party.
Israel: To avoid cyber attacks, Israel urged to manually count election results | Middle East Monitor
Israel’s National Cyber Authority is expected to recommend the manual counting of votes in future elections in order to prevent cyber attacks “following recent attempts to meddle with elections in the West,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday. Formed 18 months ago, the authority is working on a “defence plan” against possible meddling in Israeli elections through cyber attacks similar to what recently took place in the United States, France and Ukraine. The plan will recommend that votes continue to be counted manually in Israel, as they always have, even if this is an “outdated method”.
The Knesset Interior Committee unanimously passed a bill on Monday that will allow prisoners to vote in municipal elections while incarcerated. The bill, initiated by MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), is similar in its essence to the amendment bill that passed in 1986, which gave prisoners the right to vote in the general – but not municipal – election. The bill now needs to be approved by the Knesset in its first reading. The MKs explained that each citizen holds more weight in municipal elections than they do in national elections, and that the outcome has major implications on their day to day life.
Unlike the United States, which grants all its citizens the right to vote anywhere and under all circumstances, most other countries set certain limitations on the rights of their citizens to vote from abroad. Israeli law grants the ability to exercise this important democratic right only to members of its diplomatic corps and to employees of the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Federation, the Jewish National Fund and the United Israel Appeal. Still, while law enables murderers and other convicted felons serving jail terms to take part in the democratic process, the same law revokes the voting rights of students, university professors, employees of private firms, tourists and other Israelis away from their permanent places of residence on election day.
In confirmation of the Yachad – Ha’am Itanu and Otzma Yehudit accusations that Shas activists committed mass voter fraud in invalidating the two parties’ joint list ballot slips, recordings reveal Shas activists instructing how to invalidate the slips. IDF Radio on Monday morning published recordings of a Shas activist from Jerusalem guiding his friends on how to harm Yachad on elections day – Yachad wound up less than 11,000 votes short of getting past the recently raised threshold percentage. “Everyone who goes to vote – let them remove the slips of ‘ketz,’ let them put them in their pocket and put in its place Shas,” the supporter can be heard saying in the recording, referring to the letters on the slip representing Yachad.
Multiple incidents of voter fraud were reported during elections day last week – including several arrests in Arab communities. Arutz Sheva spoke to Yisrael Zelkovitz, a volunteer who served as a member of a volunteer task force funded by the Samaria Residents’ Committee at polling stations tasked with uncovering and preventing voter fraud, to find out more about what really happened on elections day. The project was funded with Likud, Jewish Home, and Yisrael Beytenu support. Zelkovitz stated that he did see incidents of voter fraud, and even caught some suspicious activity on tape – including buying votes and extortion.
Mousa Abu Maria’s vote will be counted in today’s Israeli elections — but he won’t step foot in a polling station. Instead, the 36-year-old Palestinian activist has asked an Israeli to cast a ballot for the party he thinks will fight for Palestinian rights: the Joint List, the preferred choice among many Palestinian citizens of the state. “Palestine is still under Israeli occupation; that should mean I have the right to vote. I don’t have my own country and Israel still controls everything. Israel has control of our life,” Abu Maria, who lives in the West Bank town of Beit Ommar and does not hold Israeli citizenship, told the Star. Ofer Neiman, an Israeli freelance translator who lives in Jerusalem, is casting his ballot for Abu Maria. He said he chose to give his vote in protest of what he views as undemocratic elections.
Israel’s election commission chief on Tuesday barred Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from broadcasting new appeals to his followers for their support as Israelis cast ballots in a surprisingly close election that threatens to unseat the prime minister. The commission ruled that a broadcast appeal – Netanyahu had planned two television interviews – would violate the country’s ban on political ads on election day. The rejection came as officials reported that turnout by 4 p.m., at 45.4 percent, was lagging slightly behind the rate of the election in 2013. Polls remain open until 10 p.m. In a last-minute video appeal to supporters on his Facebook page, Netanyahu warned that “the rule of the right is in danger” and that “Arab voters are going in droves to the polls” in buses provided by leftist groups. “Go to the polls, bring your friends and family, vote Likud to close the gap,” he said.
Polling stations only close at 10:00 pm, but several parties have already filed complaints to the Central Elections Committee (CEC) over allegations of fraud Tuesday – just halfway through election day. Yisrael Beytenu has filed a complaint, representatives stated to the press, after a number of party representatives were allegedly attacked during the voting process. In one incident, the chairman of Yisrael Beytenu’s Nazareth chapter was attacked at the polling station; local police rushed to the scene to break up the fight. In Arab-majority Baka Al Gharbia, Kafr Kara, and Sakhnin, party representatives were prevented from voting by the crowd.