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Israel supports Nigeria against terrorism

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By Mercy Kelani

Israel and Nigeria became closely connected after Nigeria’s independence.

Israel has assured Nigeria of its support in aspects of Intelligence sharing, extraction of relevant information and modern combat equipment to fight the ongoing war against terrorism and insecurity. Speaking in Jerusalem, Retired Lt. Col. Jonathan Kornicous, who once served in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) replied to Nigerian journalists on a media tour in Israel saying Israel has a lot of experience. Therefore, the first support that will be rendered by Israel will be to share strategies and tactics on how to tackle terror organization.

Aside from sharing of strategies, Israel has volunteered to train Nigerian forces to be better so as to deal effectively with counter terrorism or counter Gorilla operations. Another help Israel is ready to render is in form of equipment. Kornicous said intelligence and combat equipment is important to gather intelligence on enemies and have the fire power and required tools to attack the enemy. Israel sees intelligence as a major tool and spends a quarter of its budget on generation of intelligence, analysis, sensors and manpower.

Equipment and manpower are needed to fight terror organizations.

Intelligence is considered key in attacking terror organizations that make use of civilians to ensure that it is impossible to decipher between civilians and combatants. In order for any country to efficiently fight terror organizations, more equipment and manpower is needed. The manpower also needs to be adequately trained so as to effectively tackle counter terror operations. Kornicous added that Israel is prone to attack but have investment in interception which bred a 92 percent success rate of interception during the attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad where they fired 4,400 rockets at Israel in May 2021.

According to Kornicous, Israeli communities in vulnerable areas have been able to build resilience through the close connection and collaboration that exists between commuters and security agencies. Israel has not less than 75 years of experience during which many communities were attacked by various organizations. It was usually not very difficult to overcome these attacks because of the relationship between the communities and the security organizations, especially the Israel Defense Force (IDF) responsible for each area.

Over 50 Israeli companies have investments in Nigerian sectors.

Each Israeli community has specific personnel which serve as fast response teams in every community, equipped and trained by the military. The retired lieutenant emphasized the need to have a quick first response on the alert within a few minutes to counter an attack by terrorists, tagging it as very important. Israel is able to render support to Nigeria because of the close relationship between both countries which began in 1960 after establishment of Nigeria’s independence; there was an official establishment of diplomatic, cultural and economies ties between the two countries.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Israel had a significant contribution in the development of Nigeria and some Sub-Saharan African countries through its release of Israeli experts and volunteers for modernization of agriculture in Africa and education of African farmers on sustainable farming techniques. Since 1992 till date, Israel and Nigeria have grown a mutually beneficial relationship with over 50 Israeli companies having massive investments in Nigerian construction, technology, communications and information technology, water management industries, infrastructure and agriculture.

Both countries cooperate on regional and international issues.

In 2006, there was a signing of a Memorandum of Interest (MOU) between the Nigerian and Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs which formalized bilateral consultations on political issues. After this agreement, there was an increased facilitation of dialogue and cooperation between both countries on regional and international issues. Economic ties between the two countries are further propelled by the Nigerian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce.

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