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The Daily TIP: Israeli Officials: U.S.-Russia Ceasefire Deal in Syria Leaves Iran Too Close to Border

Posted by Tip Staff - November 13, 2017

Israeli Officials: U.S.-Russia Ceasefire Deal in Syria Leaves Iran Too Close to Border
France’s Jewish Ex-Culture Minister to Head UNESCO, Agency Tainted by Anti-Israel Bias
PM Netanyahu: Hamas “Responsible” for Any Attack Launched from Gaza Against Israel
Israeli High School Robotics Team Develops 3-D Printable Kit to Make Wheelchairs Electronic


Israeli Officials: U.S.-Russia Ceasefire Deal in Syria Leaves Iran Too Close to Border

A recently announced ceasefire deal brokered between the United States, Russia and Jordan "does not meet Israel’s unequivocal demand" that neither Iranian nor any allied forces including Hezbollah be allowed near Israel's border, Reuters reported Sunday.

Israel's regional cooperation minister, Tzachi Hanegbi said that the deal "does not meet Israel’s unequivocal demand the there will not be developments that bring the forces of Hezbollah or Iran to the Israel-Syria border in the north."

The plan would allow Iranian-backed forces to be as close as 5 to 7 kilometers (3.1 to 4.4 miles) from the Israel border with Syria, according to Israeli sources with knowledge of the agreement. Israel reportedly asked Russia to ensure that Iranian-allied troops be kept at least 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border of Israel as part of any ceasefire agreement.

Hanegbi wasn't alone in expressing concerns about the close proximity of Iran and its allies in Syria to Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Saturday that Israel "will not allow the Shiite axis to be established in Syria as a base for action."

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said in reaction to the announcement of the ceasefire, "Israel has already made it clear that it shall not accept Iran and its affiliates and proxies basing themselves in Syria, which will be a permanent threat and a constant source of tension, friction and instability."



France’s Jewish Ex-Culture Minister to Head UNESCO, Agency Tainted by Anti-Israel Bias

Audrey Azoulay, France's former culture minister, was confirmed as the new director-general of the United Nations cultural body UNESCO, making her the first Jewish head of the agency, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Azoulay was raised in Morocco and France and is the daughter of André Azoulay, an adviser to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. She secured the nomination for head of UNESCO during a tight race in October, defeating Qatari diplomat Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, known for his anti-Semitic record. The choice was confirmed Friday by the General Conference who voted 131-19 to appoint her.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) congratulated Azoulay and expressed hope that she would use her position to end the “relentless bias and double standard against Israel” at UNESCO.

Azoulay’s term comes at a contentious time for UNESCO, after the United States and Israel announced earlier this year that they would withdraw from the organization, citing concerns over anti-Israel bias and politicization at the institution.

In October 2016, Israel suspended ties with the organization following a resolution that criticized Israel’s actions in and around Jerusalem’s holiest site and denied Jewish ties to the region’s holy sites. In July, UNESCO declared the Old Town of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian World Heritage Site. In May 2017, UNESCO passed a series of resolutions that denied Israeli claims to Jerusalem.

It remains to be seen if Azoulay's election will have a positive impact on the organization's approach towards the Jewish state.



PM Netanyahu: Hamas “Responsible” for Any Attack Launched from Gaza Against Israel

As concerns grow that the Iranian-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) could strike from the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that his country would hold Hamas, which rules Gaza, "responsible" for any attack that targets Israel at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.

The prime minister's warning underscored the complete military and political control that Hamas, which has recently been aligning itself more closely with Iran, exerts over the Gaza Strip.

Tension between Israel and PIJ have escalated in recent weeks, since Israel destroyed a terror tunnel that it had detected inside Israeli territory, late last month, reportedly killing twelve terrorists, mostly from PIJ. It was later revealed that Israel recovered the bodies of five of the terrorists.

Hamas, which is currently trying to implement a reconciliation deal with Fatah, the Palestinian faction that rules the West Bank and controls the Palestinian Authority (PA). While the PA has assumed control of Gaza's border crossings as part of the deal, Hamas has not relinquished its weapons.

Last week PA police chief Hazem Atallah told reporters that as long as Hamas maintained its arsenal of rockets and guns the PA would be unable to provide security for Gaza.

In addition to refusing to surrender its weapons, Hamas refuses to reject terror and recognize Israel's right to exist, conditions the United States deems essential for Israeli-Palestinian peace.



Israeli High School Robotics Team Develops 3-D Printable Kit to Make Wheelchairs Electronic

A team of about 30 teenage robotics enthusiasts in Ra’anana recently unveiled a 3D-printed kit that transforms a standard $500 wheelchair into the equivalent of a $2,500 electronic wheelchair with enhanced maneuverability and powerful braking.

The add-on doesn’t interfere with the chair’s folding mechanism and is easily removed, so it can be attached to a rented wheelchair that must be returned in its original condition.

The Electric Wheelchair Kit was devised by “Team 1577 Steampunk” from Aviv High School as part of its participation in the regional round of the global FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

“Our idea was to release it on an open-source platform to nearly 7,000 FRC teams in the world who can become a hub for making these kits,” team member Roee Bar-Yadin tells ISRAEL21c.

The teens said that the idea originated with an FRC team at Aviv High School five years ago but was never brought to fruition until now because of its complexity. The current team wanted to keep trying, and received monetary support from the Ra’anana municipality to do so.

“We wanted to help our communities and thought this would be a good way to do it,” says Roee.

Working in their free time in a school workshop, Team 1577 Steampunk used mechanics, electronics and programming skills to devise the kit, and fabricated the printable parts on a Printrbot Play compact 3D printer. They were mentored by mechanics and electronics teacher Uri Cohen and former Aviv students Noam Alachanati and Ori Agranat.

(via Israel21c)


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