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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

Israeli Defense Companies Converge on Industry’s Next Big Market — Poland

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Poland is developing an ambitious, multi billion dollar program of modernizing its armed forces, which is attracting several Israeli-based companies, including Elbit Systems, Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), all of which are attending this year’s MSPO exhibition in Kielce in south central Poland (halfway between Częstochowa and Lublin).

Israel Sharon, IAI’s marketing manager for Poland, told Shephard Media that Israel’s defense strategy “seems to be similar to Polish strategic thinking. More emphasis is put on the national indigenous defense capacity, strongly embedded in an alliance, but able to stand alone in deterring any aggression.”

Elbit Systems is looking to sell Poland its Hermes 450 medium size multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle, designed for tactical long endurance missions.

The Raytheon Company, a major US defense contractor, announced on Tuesday that it had offered to sell to Poland the SkyCeptor interceptor, a modified version of the Stunner interceptor, jointly developed by Israel and the US, which is in production and field testing by the IDF as part of the David’s Sling system, Shephard reported. Skyceptor will be integrated with the Patriot air and missile defense system.

Poland would be using its version of the David’s Sling system as part of the Wisla missile defense program. In July, Poland’s state-run defense group PGZ signed a letter of intent with Raytheon to cooperate on Poland’s new missile defense program Wisla, which included acquisition of Patriot missiles. Now Raytheon expects Wisla to be getting the green light from the Polish Ministry of Defense, which will submit a formal letter of request (LOR) to the US to purchase the Patriot.

John Baird, Raytheon’s VP of Poland programs, told reporters in Kielce that the inclusion of the SkyCeptor interceptor as part of the Patriot package is a cheaper option against “short-to-medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced air defense threats.”

“We have embarked over the past three years to produce and develop a US-compliant variant of Stunner,” Raytheon’s Dave Orr explained, adding “we think we can develop within 36 months of contract award SkyCepter missiles for the Polish Armed Forces.”

IAI is also bidding for the modernization of the Polish MiG-29 fighter jets and legacy helicopters. According to Shephard, IAI has already entered into an agreement with the Czech company Retia to produce air defense radar systems.

JNi.Media

Israeli Cowboy

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

An Israeli shepherd herds goats at Ramat HaNadiv nature reserve, near the city of Zichron Yaakov, in Northern Israel.

Photo of the Day

Israeli Court Rules: It Is Criminal for Jews to Enter Areas Where Police Cannot Control Arab Violence

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Israeli District Court last week ruled that Jews commit a crime when they enter without prior arrangement with security forces an area where their lives would be in danger due to Arab violence. The area in question, Joshua’s Tomb in Samaria, is in Area B where there are no restrictions on Jewish travel. On its face the ruling is tantamount to a NY City judge punishing a victim of violence for entering a dangerous neighborhood without first receiving police permission.

Judge Zahava Bustan of the district Court in Lod last Thursday rejected an appeal submitted by legal aid society Homenu attorney Hai Haber over the detention and removal of 13 Jews who wanted to pray at Joshua’s Tomb near the city of Ariel and were attacked by Arabs from the village of Kifl Haras, where the Jewish shrine is located.

Attorney Haber argued that the group, which had been punished by the court — they were ordered to stay out of Judea and Samaria for 60 days — did not commit any crime, since entry into the Arab village is legal to Jews. Kifil Haras is located in Area B, which Israeli citizens may enter at will, just as they are permitted to drive on sections of Route 60 which cuts through the Area B Arab town of Hawara, as well as on the road from Jerusalem to the Jewish community of Nokdim.

Haber added that by punishing the victims of terrorism rather than going after the terrorists who attacked them, police and now the court are encouraging terrorism. He also argued the 60-day restraining order was needlessly harsh, since there is no ongoing police investigation which the restrained individuals could potentially be interrupting. Rather it was purely punishment for punishment’s sake on the part of the court.

Judge Bustan ruled on the appeal that even in cases where it is legal for Jews to enter, when there is danger of Arab violence the Jewish visitors must first request the consent and support of the security forces, because they are, inevitably, going to be called on to rescue them.

Honenu issued a statement saying, “All of Judea and Samaria, and, indeed, all of Eretz Israel is considered dangerous territory. The decision constitutes a prize and an encouragement to terrorism, since the court decided that a village where violence is used against Jews would become verboten to Jews without rearrangement with the Army. In a sovereign country of laws, it is the role of security forces to facilitate the safe access of civilians to every area where they are permitted to be. It is inconceivable that an area where entry is permitted, especially a holy site where Jews have been visiting for years, would be closed on account of a failure to enforce the law, and law-abiding worshippers would become criminals due to the failures of police and the Army.”

“Today it’s Breslov Hasidim at Joshua’s Tomb, tomorrow it would be hikers who are attacked on a trip, and next it would be orphans who attend their parents’ graves on Mt. Olives, which is well-known as a dangerous area.”

(See also: Legal Group Challenging Police on Criminalizing Entry into Judea and Samaria Area B)

JNi.Media

SpaceX Rocket Blows Up, Taking Israeli Amos-6 Satellite With It [video]

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was scheduled to carry an Amos 6 communications satellite for the Israeli company Spacecom on Saturday exploded on the Cape Canaveral launch pad at 9:07 (EST) Thursday morning, destroying the satellite as well.

The Amos 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

The Amos 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket. Courtesy: SpaceX

The company said the launch pad was clear and no one was injured in the accident, adding in a statement: “SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in loss of the vehicle and its payload.”

Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd is being acquired by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group for $285 million. According to industry media reports, the transaction’s terms were pending on the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Saturday, Sept. 3, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Israeli scientists developing AMOS-6 satellite.

Israeli scientists developing the AMOS-6 satellite.

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, a.k.a. SpaceX, is owned by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also owns the electric car company Tesla.

Spacecom, developed the Amos-6 satellite for Facebook and the French satellite provider, Eutelsat, in a venture intended to supply free Internet to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org non-for-profit initiative of providing affordable or free Internet to countries with limited or no access to what founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes as “the knowledge economy.”

AMOS-6 was designed to be able to cover the Middle East, Central East Europe and much of Africa.

 

 

Content by Alexander J. Apfel/TPS was used in this report.

David Israel

Agriculture Minister: Israeli Farmers Will Export Cannabis in Two Years

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) is planning for Israel to begin exporting medical cannabis, Cannabis Magazine reported on Sunday. Referring to the new experimental cannabis farm at Israel’s Volcani Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Ariel promised that “within two years we will have a regulated protocol for growing cannabis, at which point we’ll allow farmers to grow it.” Nevertheless, the minister would not refer to Cannabis as an agricultural product.

The program regulating the medical cannabis industry was approved by the Israeli government some two months ago. But because of the objections of Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ), and despite the support of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), the program does not include approval for growing cannabis for export.

Unfortunately, cannabis growers in Israel are saying the only way they could afford to sell their product in Israel at a reasonable price is if they could raise most of their crops for export.

At the same time, the fact that the Volcani Institute is experimenting with Israeli cannabis suggests that eventually, when the time is right politically, Israeli cannabis might blow the competition out of the bong, since it is renowned for its agricultural research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering, that have made Israeli farm products among the most prized in the world.

A sign announcing the launch of Israel's health ministry's medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

A sign announcing the launch of Israel’s health ministry’s medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

Over the weekend, Minister Ariel told Israel Radio that “the Agriculture Ministry is now devoting significant-size plots for experimentation and exhibition of cannabis growing,” in preparation for instructing Israeli farmers on the most efficient and productive methods of growing the plant. Ariel said he does intend to eventually reach a political consensus in the Netanyahu cabinet in favor of exporting cannabis. He expects the process of cultivating products, developing the proper protocol for growing and shipping, and getting political approval to take about two years, which means this could take place during the current Netanyahu government.

JNi.Media

Israeli Satellite Company Sold to Chinese for $285 Million

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Israeli Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd for $285 million, both companies announced last week. Spacecom operates the Amos-2, Amos-3 and Amos-4 communications satellites and is owned by Eurocom Group, which is controlled, in turn, by Shaul Elovitch, controlling shareholder of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication.

According to a press release statement, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Spacecom and will integrate it into an existing Luxembourg company called Luxembourg Space Telecommunication S.A., which will be the legal purchaser of Spacecom. After the acquisition is complete, Spacecom will become a private company, but its debentures will continue to be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The merger requires shareholder and regulatory approval before it can be finalized. According to Space News, the transaction’s terms are pending the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Sept. 3 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The price being paid is a 30% premium on the share’s market price, according to Globes. The deal reflects a premium of 41 percent to Spacecom’s average stock price in the past month, according to Reuters.

Spacecom Chief Executive David Pollack said in a statement that the “global market of communication satellites is undergoing a consolidation process, enabling the merging companies to improve their competitiveness,” and so “further to contacts with various entities, the negotiations with the Beijing Xinwei Group matured into this transaction, reflecting a substantial premium on the market price.”

Pollack noted that “Beijing Xinwei is a strategic partner, expert in the field of telecommunication, planning to expand its business in the communication satellites field. The merger will provide the Company with financial strength, and will enable further development and growth. The transaction is performed in accordance with Space Communication’s license terms, stipulating, inter alia, that the satellites will be operated from Israel, and that the Company shall remain an Israeli company, regardless of the identity of the shareholders of the Company.”

JNi.Media

Tourists Assaulted by Israeli Arabs, Police Detain, Confiscate Weapon of Soldier who Defended Them

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

A group of Jewish tourists, including children, visiting the coastal Old City of Acre last Monday afternoon, was assaulted by local Arabs who tried to push them off the very high ancient wall of the city on which they were strolling. In response to the assault one of the tourists in the group, an IDF soldier, was forced to draw his personal weapon to defend the group.

After the incident, the soldier was detained by police for investigation and his army issue personal weapon was confiscated. He is being represented by legal aid society Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar.

“We were strolling along the walls of the Old City, about 20 people, including many children, when suddenly, for no reason, an Arab youth approached us and threatened to push us off of the wall, an enormous height of 12 meters (36 ft),” the soldier reported. “After a few minutes, several more young men and teens joined the first youth. One of them started to push members of the group off the wall, seriously threatening their lives. I and other members of the group, in order not to fall from the high side to the sea and the boulders below, were forced to jump from the wall to the ground [on the safe side].”

The soldier said he was forced to draw his personal weapon in order to deter the assailants and to protect the group.

The tourist group filed a complaint at the police station against the Arab assailants.

Attorney Kedar said in a statement: “This is a scandal. A group of tourists was assaulted, a soldier was forced to protect his life and the lives of those around him, and found himself under investigation. It is unfortunate that once again the police took a stand at an early stage and detained suspects before clarifying the details of the incident. I am certain that my client will be released shortly. I hope that whomever started the disturbance and made the threats will be detained and brought to justice.”

Update: on Wednesday afternoon, Acre police returned the confiscated weapon to the soldier. Attorney Kedar praised police for their move, but called on them to arrest the Arabs who assaulted the tourists.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tourists-assaulted-by-israeli-arabs-police-detain-confiscate-weapon-of-soldier-who-defended-them/2016/08/24/

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