Posted by Albert Gersh - August 11, 2014
- Leaked ceasefire terms: Hamas gives up on airport and seaport demands, but puts off demilitarization requirements
Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth late on Monday published extensive details of what is reportedly an all-but-complete agreement - stipulating steps to be taken by Israel, Hamas, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) - aimed at bringing an end to the current round of fighting between Hamas and Jerusalem. Hamas was reportedly forced to drop demands for the establishment of a seaport and airport to facilitate the transfer of supplies, and the Israelis and Egyptians will in turn ease import restrictions on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip provided that materials are subject to strict supervision. The Egyptians appear to be insisting that the border between Gaza and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula will be overseen by PA forces subject to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. The Jerusalem Post noted that the concession would put PA forces in control of portions of Gaza for the first time since they were ousted from the territory in a bloody week-long 2007 battle. Some analysts criticized the leaked agreement for failing to establish a pathway to disarming Hamas. The terms are likely to reinvigorate what had been an active policy debate earlier this summer, before Hamas escalations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank triggered Israel's Operations Protective Edge and Brother's Keeper: the degree to which the terror group would succeed in establishing a kind of "Hezbollah model" in the Gaza Strip, under which the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be responsible for civil administration while Hamas maintained its military infrastructure. Daniel Nisman, a geopolitical risk analyst who heads the Middle East-based Levantine Group, explicitly contextualized Monday's diplomatic developments alongside Hamas efforts to establish a "Hezbollah-like scenario where PA takes full responsibility for Gaza - but isnt powerful enough to disarm their militia."
Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router – a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single photons by single photons. This achievement, as reported in Science magazine, is another step toward overcoming the difficulties in building quantum computers. At the core of the device is an atom that can switch between two states. The state is set just by sending a single particle of light – or photon – from the right or the left via an optical fiber. The atom, in response, then reflects or transmits the next incoming photon accordingly. “In a sense, the device acts as the photonic equivalent to electronic transistors, which switch electric currents in response to other electric currents,” says Dr. Barak Dayan, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Quantum Optics group, including Itay Shomroni, Serge Rosenblum, Yulia Lovsky, Orel Bechler and Gabriel Guendleman of the Chemical Physics Department in the Faculty of Chemistry. The photons are not only the units comprising the flow of information, but also the ones that control the device. There are only a few labs in the world that could make possible this achievement. Dayan, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Quantum Optics group, runs one such place. “The road to building quantum computers is still very long, but the device we constructed demonstrates a simple and robust system, which should be applicable to any future architecture of [quantum] computers. In the current demonstration a single atom functions as a transistor – or a two-way switch – for photons, but in our future experiments, we hope to expand the kinds of devices that work solely on photons, for example new kinds of quantum memory or logic gates,” said Dayan. (via Israel21c)
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