Daily TIP

Israel's improving regional ties continue as Egyptian FM defends Israeli policies, Turkish parliament ratifies reconciliation deal

Posted by Tip Staff - August 22, 2016


 

Egypt’s foreign minister defended Israeli policies to a group of high schoolers in Cairo on Sunday. A student asked Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry about why Israel and the U.S. are not considered terrorist organizations by the Egyptian government. Shoukry confronted the conspiracy theory – popular in the Arab world – that there was a connection between Israel and terrorist groups. When asked if the death of Palestinian children constituted Israeli terrorism, Shoukry said, “Israel – in accordance with its own history – is a society that has a very strong element of security.” He continued, “From Israel’s perspective, since 1948, that society has faced many challenges that have instilled in it its national security doctrine, its control of land and border crossings.” Shoukry visited Israel last month to offer his government’s assistance in restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The visit marked the first time an Egyptian foreign minister had visited Israel since 2007, and highlighted the closer ties that have been forged in the last few years under the leadership of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Also last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin attended a reception at Egypt’s embassy in Tel Aviv in honor of Egypt’s National Day.
In other news indicative of Israel’s improving ties in the region, the Turkish parliament ratified its government’s reconciliation deal with Israel on Saturday. Under the new agreement, Israel and Turkey will restore full diplomatic relations. Israel will establish a fund worth $20 million for the families of those killed in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, and Turkey agreed to pass legislation that offers legal protection for IDF soldiers from criminal and civilian claims. Israel will still maintain its restrictions on the imports and exports going to and from the Gaza Strip, a measure that Israel uses to prevent the smuggling of weapons and illicit materials into the Strip, and Turkey will send humanitarian assistance to Gaza via the Israeli port of Ashdod. The Turks also agreed to not block Israeli involvement in international forums, such as NATO. Additionally, according to Israeli officials, Turkey committed to preventing Hamas operatives from orchestrating attacks on Israelis from Turkey.
When the deal was reached in June, Netanyahu heralded the economic opportunities that normalization with Turkey could offer. In a conference call with The Israel Project in June, former Israeli National Security Advisor Maj. Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror explained that the agreement could open up more opportunities for trade. Between the Marmara incident and today, he said trade with Turkey has “more than doubled” and that “people are speaking about gas and there are other issues that might emerge.”

 

A rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip landed between two houses in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Sunday, prompting the IDF to carry out airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.
The rocket, which was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, fell in a residential area beside a college and Sderot’s railway station, The Times of Israelreported. Residents said it was a “miracle” that there were no injuries.
Israel responded to the attack by striking two sites in northern Gaza that it said were a part of Hamas’ “terror infrastructure.” Israel holds Hamas, which rules Gaza, responsible for any rocket fire against its citizens.
Hamas routinely attempts to smuggle materials into Gaza that can be used by terrorists to manufacture rockets and other weapons. In late May, Israel intercepted a shipment of material that could be used in the construction of rockets and terror tunnels. Earlier in the month, Israeli authorities uncovered a shipment of four tons of ammonium chloride that was concealed in over 30 tons of salt. The compound can be employed both as a fertilizer and in the production of rockets. The Israel Tax Authority stated that those four tons could have resulted in the production of hundreds of long-range rockets. “This case underscores the activity of Gaza-based terrorist organizations in smuggling dual-use materials disguised as goods destined for the civilian population and reconstruction projects,” the authority concluded.
Dore Gold, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, announced in May that Hamas is confiscating 95% of cement that enters Gaza. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza Strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” he stated. Hamas uses the cement to build and expand its network of tunnels.
In April and May, the IDF uncovered two Hamas tunnels that breached Israeli territory. Hamas used its network of tunnels during the summer 2014 war to infiltrate into Israel and has continued its efforts to rebuild and expand its infrastructure. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters in May that the discovery of the tunnels was a sign that Hamas was preparing for another war against Israel. He added that the tunnel digging means that “they definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels.” (via TheTower.org)

 
Today, more than half the fish consumed around the world is grown in fish farms. Most farms overcrowd the fish, feed them massive amounts of antibiotics, and treat them with hormones and pesticides. Yet despite concerns for human health and the environment, the aquaculture industry is growing an average of 6 percent annually to accommodate ever-rising demand. To help assure higher quality production, the Europe Commission’s Horizon 2020 program and its Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are investing millions of euros in a revolutionary open-sea aquaculture technology from Israel’s Gili Ocean Technology. Gili Ocean’s Subflex (a contraction of “submerged flexible”) system, originally developed in cooperation with professors at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, features flexible cages that can be submerged underwater when there are strong currents and waves at sea. “Growing fish in the open water greatly reduces the ecological impact,” CEO Yossi Melchner tells ISRAEL21c. “The water quality is superb and you don’t need to add any external resources or energy because it is the ultimate habitat. But we need to deal with storms. This is why we started developing the Subflex technology in 2003.” The Subflex system, which will include high-tech components such as sensors and image processors to boost efficiency, ease of use and cost-effectiveness, aims to make offshore aquaculture a long-term sustainable solution. (via Israel21c)

 


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