UN Chief Demands Removal of Anti-Israel Report by Discredited Official
Rafsanjani’s daughter sentenced to jail for second time
Israeli water-conservation device wins another prize
Israel’s Arrow-3 system successfully intercepted a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was shot at Israeli jets conducting a mission in Syria on Thursday night, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. It is the first time that the Arrow-3 system is known to have been used operationally.
The Syrian military claimed that four Israeli fighters carried out a raid against a target near Palmyra, a claim that the Israeli military confirmed, which it rarely does. The IDF stated that anti-aircraft missiles were fired as their jets returned to base, but that “at no point was the safety of IDF aircraft compromised.”
“Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles,” the statement also said. Two other missile landed harmlessly in Israel. The missiles had been fired from eastern Syria and traveled over Jordan towards Jerusalem.
The Syrian anti-aircraft missiles, which the Times of Israel reported were likely SA-5s, would not have posed a threat to people on the ground, except where its debris landed. The Arrow-3, which is part of Israel’s three-tiered missile defense system, is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles emerging from outside the earth’s atmosphere. The Times reported that the use of the Arrow-3 on a more conventional target could suggest “a misidentification of the type of weapon being fired from Syria.”
This is the second time in the last six months that Syria activated its air defense system against an Israeli strike. Last September, Syrian forces fired two missiles at Israeli jets conducting a raid inside Syria, which was carried out in response to mortars that had been fired into Israel.
The secretary-general of the United Nations on Friday requested the removal of an inflammatory report on Israel, which was co-authored by a discredited former UN official on behalf of an agency representing Arab nations, The Times of Israel reported.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the report — compiled by Richard Falk, who has repeatedly suggested that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government, and Virginia Tilley, a political scientist who authored a book in favor of the one-state solution — to be removed from the website of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The agency, which is made up of 18 Arab countries, claimed that its report was the first by a UN body accusing Israel of practicing apartheid.
Also on Friday, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf announced her resignation at a Beirut news conference, citing pressure from Guterres to withdraw the report.
Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for Guterres, said on Wednesday that the report was published without the “prior knowledge” of his boss, and that it “does not reflect the views of the Secretary‑General.”
Dujarric added that the positions taken in the report those of its authors and “do not necessarily reflect the views of the UN.”
Nikki Haley, Washington’s ambassador to the UN, said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. was “outraged” by the report. She said its contents were “unsurprising,” given that it was commissioned by a group “whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel,” and that it was written by Falk, “who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”
Haley acknowledged that Guterres distanced his office from the report, but called on the UN to “withdraw the report altogether.”
Can't keep a good woman down--
The late Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani may have been a founding father of the Islamic Republic’s oppressive regime, but his daughter is having none of it—and was just sentenced to jail as a result. She is being charged for "anti-state propaganda, spreading lies against the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards Corps", the opposition website Kalemeh reported on Friday. This her second time facing prison; she was jailed for six months in 2012 for “spreading anti-state propaganda".
Faezeh Hashemi, 55, is a women’s rights activist and former member of parliament. When her father was honored a large funeral earlier this year, she protested alongside the opposition, speaking to the crowd and flashing the victory sign.
“The desire to change and reform has not died and whenever there is an opportunity it will resurface and we will raise our voice,” said a fellow female protestor, who did not want her name to be published.
Jerusalem-based BwareIT picked up another trophy for BrighTap, its smart water meter sensor that monitors water temperature and consumption. The product won the innovation award at the UK Water Efficiency Product Awards 2017 at the House of Lords in London on March 7, 2017. The awards are sponsored by Waterwise, an independent, nonprofit group promoting water efficiency in the UK and Europe. BrighTap, an Internet of Things (IoT) meter, attaches to any standard water tap, pipe or hose to display water consumption and temperature in real time. It also stores that information for tracking through a monitoring system. The device is powered by the water that runs through it. BwareIT was the only Israeli company in the running for the awards, which are sponsored by Waterwise, an independent nonprofit group promoting water efficiency in cooperation with water authorities in the UK and Europe. There is great demand for BrighTap in Europe, said BwareIT CEO Konstantin Berezin, speaking to ISRAEL21c from the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Johannesburg. (via Israel21c)