Israel Accepted Into Global Financial Watchdog Group

The Financial Action Task Force sets international standards on terror financing and money laundering

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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Israel Democracy Institute, March 11, 2018.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the Israel Democracy Institute, March 11, 2018.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Israel says it has been accepted as a member in a global money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog group.

The Financial Action Task Force is an intergovernmental group of some 35 countries based in Paris that sets international standards on terror financing and money laundering. It was founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to combat money laundering. In 2001 its mandate expanded to include terrorism financing.

In a press conference, Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said Monday that its acceptance into the group will allow it to take an active role in global policy-making on the issues.

She added, "We are the first country that has succeeded in being accepted by the organization at the first time of asking. We are ranked third for effectiveness of the money laundering and terror financing prevention regime after the US and Britain." 

Israel submitted an official request to join the body in 2012. At the time, the Justice Ministry believed that Israel was relatively unlikely to be accepted, in part because the group was not taking new members at the time.

In a statement, the FATF said Israel’s “experience and perspective will make a valuable contribution to our work to prevent the misuse of the financial system.”

The group has in the past given Israel’s archenemy Iran ultimatums over terrorism funding, warning of deeper economic isolation if it doesn’t comply.

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