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The Daily TIP: First Ethiopian Becomes Israeli Air Force Combat Pilot

Posted by Tip Staff - December 27, 2018

First Ethiopian Becomes Israeli Air Force Combat Pilot
Satellite Images Show Hezbollah Missile Storehouse Completely Destroyed by Airstrikes
Palestinian Mission Takes Down Pro-Terror Post After Rebuke from Germany's Foreign Ministry
Four of the Top Fifteen Acquisitions of Israeli Companies Occurred in 2018

First Ethiopian Becomes Israeli Air Force Combat Pilot

Among the 177 cadets who were awarded their wings from the Israeli Air Force is Lieutenant Y, the first Ethiopian to become a combat pilot, Ynet reported Wednesday.

Lt. Y, whose full name remains secret like all combat pilots, said, "Being a member of the air squadrons and serving in one of the IDF’s most significant units is for me a great honor."

The new combat pilot, who grew up in the center of Israel, attended religious schools growing up and attended prestigious Yeshiva high schools. When he was invited to take the pilot's course, he initially doubted that he would succeed.

Following his initial coursework, Y took two and a half years off, to study in the Bnei David yeshiva, which has a pre-army learning program.

Y's initial impression of pilots was that they were aloof, but he soon learned, that "they were no different to other people, sometimes they smiled and sometimes they were upset... I am a social person, I love to laugh and I quickly found my place among the group.”

“As the course concludes, I have mixed feelings,” he explained. “On the one hand it is nice to finally receive our wings after three intensive years of training; on the other hand, it is only the beginning of the journey.”

Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin made special mention of Y's historic achievement: “Distinguished members of the Ethiopian community are here today, Kessoch, academics and public figures; your presence sends an important message…. I am proud of you Lieutenant Y."

Satellite Images Show Hezbollah Missile Storehouse Completely Destroyed by Airstrikes

Satellite images released by an Israeli company show that a Hezbollah facility for storing Fajr-5 missiles was destroyed by overnight airstrikes Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The missile storehouse was located on an Iranian base in Syria, approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border with Israel. The Fajr-5 missiles have an estimated range of 75 kilometers (47 miles).

The Iranian base is located on the Syrian regime’s 4th Division camp in the Al-Muna area.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that an unnamed Israeli security official acknowledged that Israel had carried out the airstrikes. According to initial reports, the airstrikes targeted advanced GPS components that would have increased the accuracy of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal.

At the ceremony marking the graduation of 177 new Israeli Air Force pilots, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that despite the withdrawal of American troops from Syria. "We are not prepared to accept the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria which is directed against us. We will act against it vigorously and continuously including during the current period," the Israeli leader said.

In September, the IDF claimed that it had carried out over 200 airstrikes into Syria over the previous 18 months in its effort to prevent Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria.

Palestinian Mission Takes Down Pro-Terror Post After Rebuke from Germany's Foreign Ministry

The Palestinian Mission to Berlin took down a pro-terror Facebook post after receiving a rare rebuke from Germany's Foreign Ministry, Benjamin Weinthal reported for The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

The mission removed a Facebook post featuring the image of hijacker Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. The picture was accompanied by a caption with the phrase, "Resistance is not terrorism.”

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry explained, "We have made it clear to the Palestinian Mission that we need clarification on the Facebook post, and the glorification of terrorism and a glorification of Lufthansa kidnapper Leila Khaled are completely unacceptable."

The rebuke of the Palestinian Mission came after Filipp Piatov, a reporter for the newspaper Bild, reported on the post praising Khaled.

Khaled was a member of a PFLP cell that hijacked TWA flight 840 in August 1969. She also participated in the attempted hijacking of an El Al flight a year later.

The rebuke issued by Foreign Ministry came just days after Germany decided to stop funding foreign organizations that promote anti-Semitism.

The PFLP has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union.

In November of last year, Khaled, currently, a resident of Jordan, was barred from entering Italy due to an invalid visa, even though other European nations, including Germany, allowed her to enter. Khaled frequently travels advocating boycotts of Israel.

Khaled has been quoted as saying that for Palestinians, “negotiations will be held only with knives and weapons.”

Four of the Top Fifteen Acquisitions of Israeli Companies Occurred in 2018

Israel wouldn’t have earned its reputation as the Startup Nation if some of the thousands of companies that have come out of this small country hadn’t earned big bucks for their investors.

How big? Jerusalem-based Mobileye currently holds the title for the most lucrative acquisition of an Israeli company: $15.3 billion – that’s how much Intel paid to acquire the company in 2017.

While no acquisition in 2018 beat that figure, four out of the 15 largest acquisitions in Israel’s history happened over the last year – the largest number of significant buy-outs in one year.

What will 2019 bring? Serial entrepreneur-investor Yossi Vardi, who has helped launch no fewer than 85 high-tech companies over nearly 50 years, is optimistic.

“As the importance of innovation is being recognized by more and more companies and more and more countries, and as the unique role of Israel in the innovation space is becoming more and more appreciated, it is clear that we are going to see more companies and more countries gravitating to Israel to scout for innovation, technologies and companies,” Vardi tells ISRAEL21c.

Check out our list of the 15 largest startup acquisitions in Israeli history below. Plus, as a bonus, the acquisition that put the Startup Nation on the map in the first place (you’ll see Vardi’s name here too).

With the market for self-driving cars heating up, semiconductor giant Intel found itself with no play against Google, Tesla, Apple and other leaders in the space. So in 2017 the company bought Jerusalem-based Mobileye, innovator of vision-based advanced driver-assistance systems, which is developing some of the most sophisticated technology to power tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.

Ever wonder where that soft drink gets its flavor? Or where the fragrance for your favorite perfume comes from? There’s a good chance Israeli powerhouse Frutarom had something to do with it.

Established in 1933, Frutarom was the sixth largest food flavorings maker in the world until International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) acquired the company in 2018 in the second largest deal ever in the Startup Nation.

(For the complete list please click see Israel21c)

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  • Jeffrey Sheff
    On the Khaled issue, the operative word is “Lufthansa”. If it were only non-German airlines that were targeted, would Germany had objected?