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February 8, 2016 / 29 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Funding’

Litzman Pressures Reluctant Hospitals to Shorten Wait for MRI Scans

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

At least two medical centers in Israel are locked in a power struggle with the Health Ministry over funding support for MRI procedures.

The number of MRI exams carried out in the afternoon and evening hours was seriously reduced beginning December 1 by the Clalit HMO at Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah and Be’er Sheva’s Sorokah Medical Center, Galei Tzahal Army Radio reported Tuesday.

This, despite a reform announced by Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman that was supposed to sharply cut the long wait for such procedures.

Because the MRI machine-hours have been slashed in the afternoon and evening hours at the two hospitals, many clinics have been unable to schedule patients for MRI exams as well.

Officials blamed a lack of state funding was responsible for the cut in services.

“Unfortunately we ran out of funds to operate the second shift, so we were forced to reduce our services by 30 percent,” said a spokesperson for Beilinson Medical Center.

“Operating the MRI in afternoon and evening hours is only possible with funding from the state,” said Soroka Medical Center. “The budget just could not stretch far enough, and therefore our services were reduced.”

The Ministry of Health has responded that the “availability and quality of services in the health basket are dependent upon the financial situation of the specific health fund; the ministry will review the matter with the director-general.”

However, Litzman added bluntly that if the hospitals did not cooperate and shorten the wait for MRI exams, he would “not hesitate to cancel their arrangements of choice.”

Such arrangements refer to agreements between the HMOs and hospitals to determine which medical center receives patients for which particular treatment.

Such a decision can exert major influence on an institution’s economic development.

Bottom line: if the hospitals don’t step up and cooperate, the health ministry is not likely to provide them with the support they need for further growth — at least, as long as Ya’acov Litzman remains health minister.

China Gives Palestinian Authority $4.7M, Plus New Ministry Building in Ramallah

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

China officially handed a sparkling new foreign ministry building to the Palestinian Authority on Friday in its capital city of Ramallah.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang had visited Israel and Ramallah from Wednesday to Friday, meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders, according to China’s CRI news agency.

But Yang was present Friday in Ramallah to present the new building to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. And he added a gift at the end of the ceremony.

“We are proud of the relationship that has existed between China and Palestine over the years, and we’re also happy that China is also contributing in the building of the Palestinian institutions towards the statehood,” al-Maliki said.

“This is really a reflection of exactly how China would like to contribute and to be present in the future of the Palestinian people.”

Yang said the new building would be not only a landmark in Ramallah, but also a landmark in the friendship between China and the Ramallah government.

“China consistently supports the Palestinians in their pursuit of the righteous cause of recovering their legitimate national rights, Yang said.

“China also sincerely supports Palestine to enhance its economy, people’s livelihood and capacity building. China would like to continue with the assistance it can offer to help Palestine realize its economic independence and sustainable development as soon as possible.”

After the ceremony China granted the PA an additional grant, this for a sum of $4.7 million.

Abbas thanked Yang and noted the “historical friendship” with China, which he said “has always supported the Palestinian people to realize freedom and independence.

“We highly appreciate the support China offers to Palestine on political, diplomatic and investment aspects. The Palestinian government and people thank China for everything you have done for Palestine.”

The Israeli government has been working overtime to build strong relations with China, whose business leaders have slowly been investing more in major Israeli industries in the past several years. Most recently, Israel’s iconic Tnuva dairy producer was sold to the Chinese ‘Bright Food’ group.

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has also devoted an entire subdivision to creating collateral materials for the Chinese tourism market as well.

Jim Joseph Foundation Funds Israel’s ‘Northern Exposure’ Program

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

The post-Birthright-Taglit ‘Northern Exposure’ program, sponsored by the Tzfat-based Livnot U’Lehibanot organization, has won a $250,000 expansion grant from the U.S.-based Jim Joseph Foundation.

‘Northern Exposure’ is a one-week program that enables graduates of the Birthright-Taglit program to immediately continue their experience via community volunteer work in Israel. The program is supplemented with challenging hikes, seminars and workshops on Jewish values, meditation and deeper exploration into other Jewish subjects.

Aharon Botzer, executive director of Livnot U’Lehibanot, noted the organization’s blend of Jewish spirituality and hands-on community service complemented many of “the other fine programs that the Foundation is supporting, and we are honored to be counted among them,” he said.

“Livnot taps into the passion of many young adults to grow personally and to explore Judaism following their Birthright experiences,” said Jim Joseph Foundation Assistant Director Dawne Bear Novicoff.

“The Foundation is excited to partner with Livnot to create even more opportunities for young adults to connect with Israel, to engage in meaningful Jewish learning, and to help build vibrant Jewish communities at home.”

IDF Blows Up Gaza Terror Tunnel — Only On Israel Side of Border

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The IDF has destroyed “the remains” of a terrorist tunnel that led from Gaza into southern Israel, apparently discovered during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

The tunnel “penetrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson revealed this morning, Feb. 9 in a statement sent by SMS to media. “During the activity, forces discovered a cache of weapons and explosives,” the statement continued.

This indicates — at least to this writer — that either the tunnel was not completely destroyed at the time it was discovered last summer, or more likely, it has since been rebuilt and re-activated by its terrorist builders. That is a very ominous sign.

However, the IDF remained on Israel’s side of the Gaza border, according to the statement. “The tunnel, which was exposed during Operation Protective Edge, was demolished in order to prevent its rehabilitation in order to safeguard the security of the civilians of southern Israel,” the IDF Spokesman added.

Clearly that was done last summer as well; upon their departure from Gaza, IDF commanders stated clearly that all tunnels had been completely disabled before leaving.

Are we feeling safe yet? Wait — we’re not finished.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, head of the Independent Media Review and Analysis watchdog group, had similar questions about the curt statement issued by the IDF – and the information obviously left out.

Lerner sent back a question asking whether the terror tunnel “may remain intact one meter within Gaza beyond the Israeli side?”

In reply, the IDF Spokesperson clarified: “We are only reporting about the tunnel on the Israeli side. If you want to know about tunnels on the Gaza side, ask in Gaza.”

So there you have it. Israel no longer sees to it that terror tunnels in Gaza are completely destroyed when they are discovered. Hamas has received the message that it is free to build whatever underground terrorist network that it likes, as long as it does not cross the border into Israel, even beneath the boundary.

Perhaps that’s got to do with the international community shaking its virtual finger at the Israeli government, with its “Nu Nu Nu.” All those warnings about how it is “absolutely essential” to move forward immediately with the “economic rehabilitation” of Gaza.

How lovely; more money for tunnels and better photo ops for Hamas with the “poor, forgotten refugees from the Gaza war.”

Um … Are southern Israelis still feeling safe?

Jewish Diaspora Donors Infuse NIS 50M Into Southern Israel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Jewish donors have injected an infusion of some NIS 50 million ($13.22 million) into rocket-battered communities in southern Israel.

The package was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, whose Board of Governors is meeting this week in the coastal city of Ashkelon and surrounds.

Ashkelon was one of the primary targets of rocket and missile attacks launched by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization before and during the IDF’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer.

The funds are being used to help the south recover from the damage inflicted by Gaza terrorists during the 50-day war, which ended on the eve of Tisha B’Av.

Comprised of donations from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren HaYesod-UIA and others, some of the money is aimed at programs to expand the population of communities closest to the border with Gaza.

Approximately 1,300 scholarships of more than NIS 5,700 each ($1,500) will be offered to students living within four kilometers of Gaza (2.5 miles) for help with rent, in a move designed to draw young adults to the area.

In addition, there will be funding for special loans to local businesses located within the “40-kilometer (25 miles) zone” whose operations was affected by the war. There will also be grants for victims of rocket attacks, financing to pay for refurbishing private bomb shelters via the Amigur housing subsidiary, coordinated between the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the Jewish Agency will provide support for new immigrants in local absorption centers in southern Israel and IDF lone soldiers wounded during the war.

The Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror also provides a grant of NIS 4,000 ($1,060) to famkilies immediately after an attack if they have experienced an injury or loss or their homes were damaged by rocket fire during a war. Subsequently, if the government of Israel recognizes a family as a “victim of terror” the Fund provides additional aid of up to NIS 25,000 ($6,600) to the family as well.

Yet, world Jewry has responded magnificently with compassion and grace to help provide the massive amount of money required to address the needs of Israel’s war-torn southern population, so badly traumatized following the summer’s events.

Opening this week’s gathering, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Scharansky thanked the agency’s partners in the Jewish world.

“This is a continuation of the Jewish world’s massive outpouring of solidarity with the people of Israel and the residents of the South over the course of the summer,” Scharansky noted. “During the war, we stood with the residents and channeled the solidarity and support of world Jewry. Today, we are partnering with the government of Israel to ensure that [their] pioneering spirit endures well into the future, drawing ever more people to this area and keeping it strong and vibrant for many years to come.

“This is the Zionist response to this summer’s events, and it is an expression of our commitment to the residents of southern Israel.”

The agency’s Board of Governors also toured Kibbutz Nahal Oz, one of the Gaza Belt communities that was held under siege with rocket and mortar fire by Hamas and allied terrorists prior to and during the war.

IDF Southern Command GOC Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgeman told the governors, “We are fighting for our homes here. Your decision to hold the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings in southern Israel after Operation Protective Edge is a massive source of strength for me personally, and for the soldiers under my command.”

Govt Approves Massive Upgrade of Southern Israeli Infrastructure

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

The Cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to upgrade the southern Israeli city of Sderot and its surrounds, and to build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva.

The NIS 1.3 billion five-year plan was created by a team of ministry director-generals led by PMO director Harel Locker. It is the largest and most comprehensive economic development plan ever made for the area, according to a release from the prime minister’s office.

The plan supplements the government’s July 13 decision to allocate NIS 417 million in economic benefits to the area adjacent to Gaza in 2015-2016. Approximately half of that sum is dedicated to Sderot.

“This is the largest investment that the State of Israel has ever made in this area,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting. “This is in addition to the NIS 417 million that we transferred during Operation Protective Edge. We are developing a new industrial zone in Sderot, transportation infrastructure in the area and are encouraging young people and students to move to the area adjacent to Gaza.

“We came to this country to build and to be built. We came to this part of our land in order to build and be built in it, and no one will uproot us. We will strengthen our hold and our development of this area just as in other areas,” the prime minister said.

“On Tuesday we will submit for Cabinet approval a supplement regarding an approximately NIS 2 billion in additional funds for the communities and cities of the south,” Netanyahu continued.

“In the framework of this decision, we will build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva, in addition to the hundreds of additional beds for the existing Soroka Medical Center.

“We will connect new natural gas infrastructures for the benefit of factories in the south. We will invest in initiatives to connect the Negev in the framework of the Digital Israel program.

“We will encourage small and mid-size businesses. We will develop tourism and all aspects of life, including the important ‘cyber’ aspect for all residents of the Negev, including Bedouin.

“This is a deep commitment on our part. I think that it has found expression.”

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/u-s-promises-military-aid-to-egypt/2014/06/23/

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