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The Daily TIP: Australia to Reallocate Aid from Palestinian Authority over "Pay to Slay" Program

Posted by Tip Staff - July 02, 2018

Australia to Reallocate Aid from Palestinian Authority over "Pay to Slay" Program
Palestinians to Protest U.S. Peace Plan
NYT: How a Man Who Never Played Lacrosse Made Israel the Center of the Sport this Summer
Israeli Startups Raise $850 Million in June; On Pace to Break Record of $5.24 Billion Set in 2017

Australia to Reallocate Aid from Palestinian Authority over "Pay to Slay" Program

Australia said Monday that it has discontinued funding the Palestinian Authority because of concern that the money is making PA payments to terrorists and their families possible, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the country had cut funding of AU$10m ($7.4m) to the World Bank's Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the PA leadership in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian terrorists.

"Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organization to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians," she added.

Bishop promised that Canberra remains committed to supporting “vulnerable Palestinians with access to basic services, including health care, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter.” As a result, Australia will now direct the aid “to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories which supports these services.”

About 75% of this money, she said, will be allocated to Gaza. The move comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March praised the United States for passing a law that suspended some financial aid to the Palestinians over stipends for terrorists.

The Knesset is expected to pass a similar bill on Monday that will require the Israeli government to deduct the NIS 1.2 billion the PA pays terrorists and their families from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the PA.

Palestinians to Protest U.S. Peace Plan

The Palestinian Authority authorized West Bank activists to organize protests of the yet to be released Middle East peace plan being formulated by the United States government, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

The decision to authorize the demonstrations against the nascent peace plan, and even before it is released to the public, comes in the wake of a Middle East trip by the Trump administration's two top peace envoys, senior advisor Jared Kushner, who is also Trump's son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, the administration's Special Representative for International Negotiations. The envoys met with Israeli and Arab leaders in an effort to finish the final details of their plan. The PA boycotted any meetings with the two.

Trump has heralded his peace plan as "the deal of the century," while PA President Mahmoud Abbas derided it as the "slap of the century."

“We believe that the countdown for publicly announcing the Trump plan has begun,” a senior PA official told the Post. “This is why we have decided to act quickly in order to thwart this evil plan, which is aimed at liquidating our national rights and the entire Palestinian cause.”

A group that calls itself The National and Islamic Forces encouraged Palestinians to gather in the center of Ramallah to protest the U.S. peace plan and express support for the PA.

A spokesman for the group said, "We are planning to expand our activity to as many places as possible in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and our lands that were occupied in 1948,” a reference for Israel. He said that the group's goal was to build support not just among Palestinians, but across the Arab world.

The Fatah party, which is headed by Abbas, supported the demonstrations and called on Palestinians to protest against the "big US conspiracy."

NYT: How a Man Who Never Played Lacrosse Made Israel the Center of the Sport this Summer

In a profile of Scott Neiss, the executive director of the Israel Lacrosse Association, The New York Times reported that his idea to bring the sport of lacrosse to Israel began in 2010, when Neiss was neither playing lacrosse, nor living in Israel. Not only did Neiss establish the sport in Israel, but he was successful enough in doing so that he was able to bring the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) championship to Israel next week.

While Neiss hadn't played lacrosse, he had worked for a professional league in the United States. During a Birthright trip to Israel in 2010, he started wondering if he could run his own team, and ended up creating the Israel Lacrosse Association.

In just eight years, Neiss developed enough of an infrastructure to lure the world championships to Israel — the games will be played in Netanya — after Manchester, England cancelled due to financial difficulties. According to the Times, "it will be the first time in the event’s five decades that it will be hosted outside the United States, Canada, England or Australia."

Israel placed 7th in the world championship four years ago. In 2016, it won the silver medal in the European championships and last year won the European indoor title. This year the Israeli lacrosse team will compete for a medal, not just on its home field, but featuring, Ori Ben David, the first Israeli-born player to come through its system.

The championship is set to last from July 12 through July 21 and feature 48 teams consisting of 2,000 of the top lacrosse players in the world. Some 8,000 fans from around the world are expected to attend.

Israeli Startups Raise $850 Million in June; On Pace to Break Record of $5.24 Billion Set in 2017

Israeli startups raised around $850 million in June, according to Globes, Israel’s financial daily, closing another solid month of fundraising.

So far this year Israeli start ups have raised an estimated $3.3 billion in the first six months of the year according to figures from IVC-ZAG and company press releases, and are on course to beat last year’s record of $5.24 billion, Globes reported.

This month’s biggest deal came on June 27, when Landa Digital Printing of Rehovot announced the completion of a $300 million equity financing led by two German firms owned by entrepreneur Susanne Klatten: private investment firm SKion and specialty chemicals group ALTANA, an already-existing shareholder. The latest investment is in addition to more than $400 million previously invested by founder Benny Landa and ALTANA in Landa Digital Printing.

This may have been the largest deal, but there were also many other significant rounds during the month.

Global taxi-hailing and ridesharing pioneer Gett of Tel Aviv raised $80 million from Volkswagen and other previous investors including Access Industries, boosting the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion. Gett and subsidiary Juno operate in 120 cities worldwide.

Claroty of Tel Aviv and New York raised $60 million in a Series B funding round led by Singapore’s governmental holding company Temasek Holdings with participation from Rockwell Automation, Aster Capital, Next47, Envision Ventures, and Tekfen Ventures.

In an indication that July will continue the trend, Monday Israeli-Singapore company Trax, which provides computer vision and analytics solutions for retail, announced that it had raised $125m. in a round led by Boyu Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in China.

(via Israel21c)

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