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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean’

Israel Buys German Ships to Protect Gas & Oil Rigs in Mediterranean

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Israel and Germany have signed a 430-million Euro contract to provide the Jewish State with four ships to protect natural gas and oil rigs in the Mediterranean.

The Defense Ministry announced the deal on Monday with the arrival in Tel Aviv of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen for an official state visit.

Included in the agreement was a special grant of 115 million Euros provided to Israel by the German government.

The project is being funded via the Exclusive Economic Zone through a budget separate from that used for defense.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Dan Harel, managing director of the Defense Ministry, said the acquisition represented “a dramatic improvement in the navy’s ability to protect strategic sites for the State of Israel.”

The four patrol corvette-type vessels are to be built by the TKMS German shipyard in the city of Kiel near Hamburg. All will be equipped with Israeli combat systems.

The shipyard is owned and operated by the TK Consortium, which has committed to a reciprocal purchase from Israel. TK Consortium has agreed to buy at least NIS 700 million in Israeli defense product under the terms of the contract.

Given the equipment with which the vessels are to be loaded, Israel’s defense industry will be busy for the next five years, when the vessels are to arrive.

Dolphin submarines currently in use by the Israel Navy were produced in the same shipyard.

China, Russia Unite in Joint Mediterranean Naval Drill

Friday, May 1st, 2015

For the first time ever, China and Russia will conduct a naval exercise together in the Mediterranean Sea. It is intended to become an annual exchange plan, said a spokesperson for the Chinese military.

In a news briefing on Thursday (April 30), Speaking for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China, spokesperson Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng confirmed “the navies of the two countries are going to conduct a joint exercise code-named “Joint Sea 2015-I” in the waters of the Mediterranean in mid-May.”

“Nine surface ships from the Chinese and Russian navies will take part in the joint exercise,” he said. “China will send three ships of 19th Chinese naval escort task force to take part in the joint exercise. The three ships… have just completed their escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast.”

The exercise is designed to hone the skills of naval personnel in “protection of navigation safety in the far seas,” he said.

It is also intended to “strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia and to improve the capabilities of the two navies to deal with maritime threats. What needs to be stressed is that the joint exercise is not targeting any third party and not related to the regional situation,” he underlined.

Russia has continued to arm both Iran and Syria. Both in turn arm Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in the north, who have ties to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists within and south of Israel. Despite Israel’s warming diplomatic relationship with China, this exercise may also signal a new direction for the People’s Republic — a concern the spokesperson clearly attempted to allay.

Israel is maintaining a number of natural gas reserve fields in the Mediterranean waters off its northern coast. To its south, its own navy is on constant alert to prevent Iranian-backed terrorists from smuggling weaponry and other contraband to terrorists in Gaza who hope to annihilate the Jewish State.

Other nations who may be affected by this exercise include Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Crete and Cyprus — all with interests in the gas fields and all of which have either been launching pads or port stops for Hamas “humanitarian” terror flotillas in the past.

US President Barack Obama Calls to Congratulate Netanyahu

Friday, March 20th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama finally called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to congratulate him — on the Likud party’s success at the polls.

According to a statement issued by the White House, the President “emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries.

“The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement continued.

“The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine.

“On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

Obama was preceded by Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and numerous others in congratulating Netanyahu on the historic re-election for a fourth term – the only prime minister to be so chosen since Israel’s founding father, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

The issue of Israel’s security is growing exponentially more serious as the days pass, with terror groups backed by Iran and global jihad organizations surrounding the Jewish State.

Aside from the clear and present danger posed by the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel’s existence, the Daesh global jihad terror group is becoming an increasing concern as well.

This past Wednesday, the European Union formally blamed the group, known also as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization, and as ISIS, for a bloody attack at Tunisia’s iconic Bardo Museum in that nation’s capital. At least 19 people were killed, including 17 foreign tourists, and 20 others were wounded.

“With the attack that has struck Tunis, the Daesh terrorist organization is once again targeting the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region,” EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said in a statement late Wednesday.

“This strengthens our determination to cooperate more closely with our partners to confront the terrorist threat.”

Israeli security personnel have been closely tracking the progress and growth of Daesh terror cells in the region, particularly in northern Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and other areas within pre-1967 Israel.

A number of Arabs who have become involved with the terror group have been identified and arrested by Israeli security forces. Others who left the country and traveled abroad to fight with Daesh are being tracked.

It is for this reason — among others — that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant about ending assumptions of well-meaning nations who believe they can simply force Israel back to the negotiating table with the PA to sign on to any two-state solution.

Israel to Export Gas to Egypt

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The consortium that owns the huge off-shore Tamar natural gas field has signed a seven-year memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Dolphinus Holdings to export of up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas to private Egyptian customers, Globes reported.

The deal is in addition to other sales by the owners of the Tamar and the Leviathan energy fields that have turned Israel into an energy exporter. Previously, Israel was dependent on Egypt for natural gas and had signed a long-term agreement with the regime of Hosni Mubarak. During and after the revolution that ended with his ouster and subsequent arrest and conviction for corruption.

Terrorists in the Sinai routinely blew up the pipeline through which gas flowed to Israel and Jordan.

Delek Drilling chairman and Avner CEO Gideon Tadmor, whose companies are part of the consortium, said, “The Tamar and Leviathan partnerships have so far signed a series of agreements designed to enable the supply of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority, to Jordan, and for export as liquid natural gas via the existing installations in Egypt. The MOU with Dolphinus is a further, important link in the series of agreements, allowing the supply of gas to the Egyptian domestic market as well. I have no doubt that these agreements will lead to a strengthening of Israel’s relations with its neighbors.”

The sale price of the gas will be dependent on the price of crude oil on the world market.

The Dolphinus Holding company reportedly represents large non-government industrial and commercial gas consumers.

The Leviathan consortium last month signed an agreement worth $15 billion with Jordan to export $45 billion worth of natural gas over a 15-year period.

Jordan has turned to Israel for gas because of the interruptions in the flow from Egypt.

In February, Tamar partners also announced an agreement to sell natural gas to Jordan through a new pipeline.

The exports of natural gas have played a major role in the increase of the value of the shekel until the shekel-dollar rate touched below 3.40 in the summer. It since has rebounded to nearly 3.75 shekels to the dollar because of reports of slower than expected growth on Israel, a cut in the interest rate and anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank will raise the prime rate by early next year.

 

Israel is Energy Exporter in $15b Gas Deal to Jordan

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Israel became an energy producer for the first time today with the closure of a deal to export natural gas to Jordan from the mammoth Leviathan gas field.

Leviathan will become Jordan’s main supplier of natural gas in the coming years. Months of discussions in the Israeli government eventually ended earlier in the year with a decision that the country would be allowed to export 40 percent of its offshore natural gas reserves.

Noble Energy Inc., Delek Group Ltd, Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Ratio Oil Exploration were expected to sign a $15b Memorandum of Understanding today (Sept. 3, 2014) to export natural gas for the next 15 years to Jordan.

Israeli Minister of Natural Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom, and the U.S. State Department were both involved in the deal.

The Leviathan gas field is a large natural gas field located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Israel’s coastline, about 47 kilometers (29 miles) southwest of the Tamar gas field. It is located approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa, in waters about 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) deep.

In Israel, A Prosthetic Tailored for a Turtle

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The Israeli mind just cannot tolerate an unsolved medical problem, even in a turtle.

For an injured green sea turtle named “Hofesh” (the word in Hebrew means “freedom”) that nature resulted in a new lease on life.

Hofesh was snarled up in a fishing net off Israel’s Mediterranean coast early in 2009, his two left flippers completely mangled.

The nearly-dead turtle was brought to Israel’s Sea Turtle Rescue Center, where it became clear amputation was the only option.

The poor turtle was left with two stumps; attempts to fit clumsy divers’ flippers did him little good as he tried to swim.

Enter Shlomi Gez, an industrial design student at Hadassah College in Jerusalem, who read about ‘Hofesh’ one day on the Internet.

The challenge of helping the turtle intrigued him, and the tragedy bothered him – as it had the staff at the rescue center.

It didn’t work.

Gez first tried a prosthetic dorsal fin – but that didn’t work either, because it impeded the turtle’s ability to rise to the surface to breathe.

Unperturbed, the scientist tried again, this time with a dual fin prosthetic. Gez told SciTech Today it is based on the design of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-22 Raptor warplane.

The prosthetic resembles the aircraft’s wings, he said. “It worked better than one fin on the back. With two fins he keeps relatively balanced, even above the water.”

Last Thursday, ‘Hofesh’ tried out his new prosthetic and was free for the first time since being trapped in the net, swimming easily around in his tank at the Rescue Center.

Yaniv Levy, director of the Center, told the journal, “We have great plans for this guy.”

‘Hofesh’ is too badly injured to ever be able to be returned to the wild — but he shares his tank with a blind female turtle named ‘Tsurit.’ Researchers are hoping a romance will blossom, and if the two mate, they will add to the local population of the endangered green sea turtles.

Both turtles are still young – researchers estimate they are about 20 to 25 years old – and approaching the age to mate. Their offspring can be released back to the sea as soon as they hatch, although the parents will never return.

Beaches are Open, Time for Sand and Fun in the Sun!

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Israel’s beach season began officially Thursday morning, May 1, with a bright sunny day and breezy skies.

Lifeguards are out in force at 140 beaches, according to government officials, all of which are open to the public across the country. In many areas, separate beaches are available for observant Jews.

Recently a new separate beach opened up at the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek, according to Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Shimon Elharar. (For more information about that beach and kosher facilities in the Dead Sea area, Rabbi Elharar can be reached at +972-54-777-0695.)

The season this year is scheduled to end after the High Holidays, on October 23, 2014.

Health officials remind Israelis, new immigrants, visitors and tourists to use an effective sun block when at the beach. The sun’s rays in the Mediterranean region can be stronger than one might be used to elsewhere, and the risk of a burn or other damage could be higher. The strongest and most damaging “sun hours” of the day are between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Enjoy yourselves and have a great season!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/beaches-are-open-time-for-sand-and-fun-in-the-sun/2014/05/01/

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