Israeli company to install high-tech identification system at Gaza Strip checkpoint

Tuesday 2 December 2003 15:10 CET | News

The Israeli military is to install a unique high-tech identification system at a critical Gaza checkpoint in January, designed to speed up passage while limiting friction between Palestinian workers and soldiers.

The Basel System, developed by Israeli company On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI), uses two biometric sensors to read the facial dimensions and hand geometry of Palestinian workers crossing through the Erez checkpoint. The Erez checkpoint, at the northern end of the Gaza Strip, is the main crossing into Israel for Palestinian workers. Before violence erupted in September 2000, tens of thousands of workers crossed every day. Since then, Israel has severely restricted entrance, concerned about terrorists sneaking into the country under the guise of workers. Interrogations and checks of workers at Erez are lengthy, and workers have complained bitterly about the long wait. About 10,000 Palestinian laborers currently cross every day into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The new OTI system is designed to increase security while speeding up the check at the same time. Workers will carry contactless smart cards that will be scanned to see if they match the biometrics of the workers. Such a dual biometric system has never been used with the contactless cards before. It is significantly quicker than other systems that check handprints and retinas to identify users. The device takes between four and nine seconds to check each worker. Israels Defense Ministry contracted the Israeli company Electronic Data Systems to install a system that would ensure that Palestinians who pose a security risk would not cross through the checkpoint, Bashan said. EDS in turn subcontracted with the Israeli-based OTI, which specializes in smart card and contactless technology that it has tested in Israeli communities. The Defense Ministry had asked that the system include two biometric checks to guarantee reliability.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce