LA Times 
July 9, 2013
JERUSALEM — After years of delays, petitions and revisions, Israel on Monday launched a controversial biometric identification  program.
During the two-year pilot project, Israelis will be able to opt for a new identification card or passport with electronic parts such as a secure chip, along with biometric data including fingerprint scans and a photo providing a facial profile that will go to a database.
Gideon Saar, minister of interior affairs, called on Israelis to “enter the era of smart documents,” maintaining that the new technologies embedded in the cards would make them counterfeit-proof and protect Israelis from identity theft and related financial crime as well as from security threats.
According to government data, about 160,000 identification cards and passports are lost or stolen every year, and the number of fake IDs in circulation could be double that number.