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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Negev’

Pilot’s Family Tells President Rivlin, Cohen Nov Was ‘A Joyful Boy’

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit to the family of IAF Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov who was killed in a deadly crash of his F-16 fighter jet at Ramon Air Base in the Negev last week upon his return from an air strike on Hamas terror targets in Gaza. The attack had been carried out in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists earlier in the day.

Ohad’s parents, Doron and Chaya, spoke with the president about their son, about his joy for life and respect for all, and about his love for flying.

“My son loved everyone, he was a joyful boy,” Chaya told the president.

Rivlin responded, “I read and heard so much about Ohad, and on these things alone it is clear what a great loss he is for his family, for his unit, and for all the Israeli people. Your pain is infinite, and no words can bring comfort at this terrible time. All that I can do is come and be with you, together with you in your pain.”

The President spoke with Ohad’s widow, Shachar, and heard from her about the plans they had had for the future as a young family setting out. He wished for her that she should have the strength to continue looking ahead for their daughter, and for all the family.

Hana Levi Julian

Gloves Are Off as Cabinet Revives Settlement Division

Friday, October 7th, 2016

On Sunday, the Netanyahu cabinet is expected to liberate an important tool for the reclamation and development of Israeli lands on either side of the “green line,” as the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization will come under tighter government control and at the same time increase its contribution to Jewish communities, Israeli media reported Friday.

Two years ago, Deputy AG Dina Zilber issued a harsh critique of the Settlement Division, accusing it of running a murky operation, especially in Judea and Samaria, outside the control of Israeli governments, mostly due to its status as a private entity. As a result, the Justice Ministry, then under one of the Jewish settlement enterprise’s worst enemies, Tzipi Livni, recommended that the next government (which Tzipi expected to head) dismantle the division by blocking its state budget. Without a budget, the division was expected to wither and die.

On Sunday, apparently, the same Zionist instrument of vitality will roar back to life, with a budget just short of $10 million, to be distributed equally among the Jewish communities of the Negev, Galilee, and Judea and Samaria. In addition, the Settlement Division will be empowered to offer solutions to stressed communities, especially in the periphery. No such first-aid government entity exists today.

The Zilber report was attacked not only by the rightwing parties, but also by communities that are associated with Tzipi Livni’s Labor party, alongside the Gaza border and down in the Jordan Valley. In fact, after the elections that saw Livni retreat to the opposition benches, several of her own party MKs supported a bill submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), enabling the government to delegate its power to the Settlement Division. Zilber, a civil servant, lobbied against the bill, which passed in three plenum votes. The eager bureaucrat was later rebuked by her new boss, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), for her acting against the expressed will of the elected officials above her.

The layout of the revived Settlement Division which will be discussed by the cabinet on Sunday will define it as an expert, consulting entity which both counsels the government on settlement issues and carries out specific government assignments. For the first time, the division is expected to be able to act within urban communities in the rural sectors, when in the past it was limited to working with the regional councils. Its policy will no longer be shaped by the division, but instead by the Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi).

One of Zilber’s criticisms was taken seriously by the designers of the renewed Settlement Division — the need for transparency. To that end, it will be placed under the supervision of the Agriculture Ministry’s Accountant General and Legal Counsel. It will also have to comply with Israel’s Freedom of Information Act.

With all those provisos in place, the Settlement Division will be empowered to plan and establish new communities, pave roads, lay down infrastructure, manage mobile homes, and strengthen and rehabilitate communities in need. The division will also manage the lands of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria until such time as a more permanent legal solution is reached.

Minister Ariel, who has been a major force behind the efforts to revive the division, told Makor Rishon on Thursday that “in the past few years there have been many different attempts by judicial entities to lock down the Settlement Division which endeavors to develop periphery communities across the land. I believe and hope that once the Settlement Division returns to full capacity the regional councils and the local residents will once again receive solutions to their enormous needs.”


Funeral Set for IAF Maj. Ohad Cohen Nov, z’l

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The funeral for Israeli Air Force Major Ohad Cohen Nov’s funeral has been set for Friday, October 7, at 11 am in the Moshav Mazor Cemetery.

Cohen Nov was killed while ejecting from his burning F-16 Sufa fighter jet as it crash-landed at Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev on Wednesday. The pilot’s navigator managed to eject safely, although he sustained some injuries and was evacuated to a medical center for treatment.

The tragedy occurred upon his return from a successful air strike on Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire that was aimed at the southern Israeli town of Sderot earlier in the day.

A high-level IAF commission of inquiry into the accident has been launched.

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin Tours Gaza Border Communities, Praises IDF Operational Power

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Marking two years since Operation Protective Edge, President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday toured the region bordering the Gaza Strip, accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, and Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fox.

The President received a situation update and heard about the IDF daily operations in the area, in particular following the recent terrorist rocket attack on Sderot. During his visit, President Rivlin was shown a terror tunnel discovered by the IDF, and discussed the initiatives the IDF was taking to tackle the tunnels problem.

The President later met with dozens of soldiers from the Bedouin Tracker Unit, combat engineers, and members of the Givati Brigade who are serving in the region. He told them, “Two years after Operation Protective Edge, the south has returned to its daily routine. The IDF guards the front in the very best way, and the front in return shows its appreciation. Just as we saw yesterday, we will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, and in the face of any such disturbance we will respond swiftly and firmly. On both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet and we will be sure that the citizens of Israel will continue to live in harmony. We do not seek war, yet, after having sat with our wonderful commanders I know that if war is forced upon us, we have an army as ready and professional as could be asked. The plan that was presented to me reflects operational strength.”

President Rivlin pointed that “two of our sons remained behind after the war which took place two years ago. The State of Israel has a moral responsibility to bring back Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”

The President added, “On my own behalf, and on behalf of all the Israeli people, I want to say thank you to the commanders, and to the service men and women. The calm here is not taken for granted, the children and the families who are now enjoying the summer holiday do so thanks to you.”

The President told reporters who accompanied his visit, “We are not interested in an escalation. Just as the other side wants to live in peace and live comfortable lives, so do we. At the same time, we are ready to face any hostility toward us. I am impressed by the readiness of the IDF to face any challenge in order to safeguard Israel’s security. I can say to the citizens of Israel, the IDF is prepared and ready to face any threat above or below ground in order to prevent any trouble not just around Gaza, but across the country.”

The President later met with council heads from the Negev and the southern region.

David Israel

Bennett Touts Education Ministry’s Service to Kindergartners, Special Ed

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Appearing on Wednesday before the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee on the preparations for the coming school year, Education Minister Naftali Bennett listed his ministry’s achievements, including adding a second teacher’s assistant in kindergarten classes, and reducing the number of children in first grade classrooms.

Bennett announced that his goal is to have 18,000 students pass the five unit matriculation exam in math within the next four years. He also said the 2016-2017 school year will see an additional 2,000 hours of English studies in all the educational institutions in Israel. Another goal is to narrow the education gap between central and peripheral communities in Israel. Bennett noted that $13.26 million have been allocated to transportation of Bedouin children to schools throughout the Negev. And, starting this year, schools in the Arab sector will begin teaching Hebrew in the first grade.

“I am proud to head a system that cares for every segment of the population,” Bennett said.

According to Bennett, his ministry’s efforts to reduce the number of high school dropouts will be increased significantly. And the special education school year will be extended to August 15, with classes continuing during the September-October holiday season.

Addressing ultra-Orthodox education, Bennett said that only 40,000 of the 400,000 Haredi educational institutions are exempt from teaching the core curriculum. “The law that was passed by the previous Knesset never went into effect, and it was supposed to be implemented only in 2018,” he told the committee.

“I’m not one of those who cry over a law that never went into effect. We’re working with Haredi schools that want to teach five units of mathematics and English. The key to success in Haredi education is not talking, it’s doing,” Bennett added.

MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid, whose party held the Education portfolio in the previous government, said in response that the plan to implement the “core curriculum law” in 2018 was intended to allow ample time for recruiting and training core curriculum teachers.

Bennett also pledged that his ministry would combat ethnic discrimination in the enrollment process of all educational institutions, particularly the ultra-Orthodox.


Israir Moving Service Hub to Sderot

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Domestic airline Israir is moving its phone center to the town of Sderot, near the Gaza Strip border, Army Radio reported. Israir CEO David Kaminitz said the new phone center is expected to employ 40 locals, with plans to double their number depending on future needs.

Sderot, a.k.a. Bomb Shelter Capital of the World, is located less than a mile from the Gaza border (the nearest point is only about 840 yards) has been a constant target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2001. These attacks have killed 13 Israelis, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Studies have found that air raid sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma in some residents. At least 75 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleeping disorders and severe anxiety. From mid-June 2007 to mid-February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar shells were fired at Sderot and the western Negev, an average of three or four each a day.

Meanwhile Israir has announced new international destinations this Jewish holiday season, flying for the first time to London, Belgrade, Saloniki, Madrid, Ljubljana and Munich.

Vice President of Marketing and Sales Gil Stav said Israir is taking advantage of the fact that the Jewish holidays fall in October this year, spelling a higher demand for tourism packages.

David Israel

Cisco Laying Off 14,000 Worldwide, 300 at Most in Israel

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

The San Jose, CA headquartered networking giant Cisco is about to announce the layoffs of as many as 14,000 employees, or about 20% of its global workforce, according to sources close to the company. Early retirement package plans have already been offered to many employees, as Cisco is preparing to publicize its fiscal quarter results Thursday evening. According to Calcalist, the layoffs will include between 200 and 300 Israeli employees.

Cisco Israel, headquartered in Netanya, employs more than 1,500 workers. Last October it let go of 40 employees and over the past three years of about one thousand. At the same time, according to Calcalist, Cisco has also been recruiting new employees in Israel, as well as making acquisitions: Cloudlock for $293 million in June, and Leaba for $320 million in March. Cisco has also signed a cooperation deal with Israel’s largest financial institution, Bank Hapoalim, and announced a new initiative with the Israeli government, turning the Negev into the “world’s first digital region.”

According to CRN, the heavy cuts are the inevitable result of Cisco’s transition from its hardware roots into a software-centric organization. CRN cites a source familiar with Cisco’s transformation that said “they need different skill sets for the software-defined future than they used to have. In theory the addressable market could be higher and the margins richer, but it will take some time to make this transition.”

The notion that a good portion of that future growth will involve Israel’s quality software workforce bodes well for the local hi-tech industry.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cisco-laying-off-14000-worldwide-300-at-most-in-israel/2016/08/17/

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