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The Daily TIP: Following Death of IDF Officer in Gaza, Israel under Attack by Hamas

Posted by Tip Staff - November 13, 2018

Following Death of IDF Officer in Gaza, Israel under Attack by Hamas
Women's March Award Rescinded by German NGO Due to Anti-Semitism
Israeli Economy Minister Invited to Int'l Conference in Bahrain
Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service to be Introduced in Israel by Volkswagen, Mobileye in 2019

Following Death of IDF Officer in Gaza, Israel under Attack by Hamas

Over 100 rockets were fired into southern Israel by Hamas, the terrorist group that exerts political and military control over the Gaza Strip, following an operation in Gaza that claimed the life of IDF officer, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Though a number of the rockets have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket system, a house and gas pipeline in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, which borders Gaza, were reportedly struck by rockets.

In response, IDF conducted air strikes against terrorist targets across Gaza.

Hamas's so-called armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement saying, "in response to yesterday's crime, the joint command of Palestinian factions announce the beginning of bombardment of the enemy's settlements with scores of rockets."

The escalation follows an IDF operation in Gaza in which a high-ranking officer was killed.

The operation, according to the IDF, was an intelligence operation meant to "strengthen Israeli security," not to kill or kidnap terrorists.

However, when the IDF team was discovered, a firefight ensued, in which seven Hamas terrorists were killed, including a commander in charge of tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip.

The officer was not identified, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed him, saying that the people of Israel owed him an "enormous debt."

A second officer was injured but is reported to be in stable condition.

Women's March Award Rescinded by German NGO Due to Anti-Semitism

A German think tank rescinded a human rights award it had planned to present to the Women's March movement on grounds that the latter group holds anti-Semitic views, Benjamin Weinthal reported for The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

In a letter, a working group of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is associated with Germany's Social Democratic Party, announced that it would not present the award to Women's March USA on grounds that the group failed to meet its criteria.

“We believe that the Women’s March USA does not meet the criteria of this award, as its organizers have repeatedly attracted attention through antisemitic statements, the trivialization of antisemitism and the exclusion of Zionists and Jews since Women’s March USA’s establishment in 2017," members of the working group, Critique of Anti-Semitism and Jewish Studies, wrote Thursday. "Women’s March USA does not constitute an inclusive alliance."

The foundation, which develops ideas and policies for the Social Democratic Party, which is part of Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition, was planning to present the award to the Women's March on Monday. Among the criteria for the award is the "commitment to a strong, active and inclusive civil society.”

However, “an organization that may support feminism, but discriminates against Jews and Zionists and denies Israel’s right to exist should not be honored by a democratic foundation that advocates diversity and speaks out against discrimination,” the letter argued.

“Since its inception in 2017, Women’s March USA has attracted media attention due to the antisemitism of its board members and chair women," the letter continued. Specifically, the letter charged that Women’s March board member, Linda Sarsour ”is notorious for her propagation of antisemitism toward Israel.”

The action by the working group follows last week's statement by actress and activist Alyssa Milano when she said she would not speak at the next Women's March as long as its leaders defend "bigotry or anti-Semitism.”

Israeli Economy Minister Invited to Int'l Conference in Bahrain

In the latest sign of warming ties between Israel and the Gulf States, Israel's Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen was invited to Bahrain to participate in an international conference, Ynet reported Sunday.

The Startup Nations Ministerial conference, which is held under the auspices of the World Bank and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, had previously been held in Milan, Istanbul, Johannesburg and Medellin.

The general goal of the conferences is to give ministers of the participating nations a chance to "discuss ways to accelerate the creation of jobs and increase economic growth by encouraging entrepreneurship," according to Ynet.

In recent weeks, signs of the thaw between Israel and the Gulf States have been reported in the news.

As part of the International Judo Federation’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, Israel’s culture and sports minister, Miri Regev, paid a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates last month. In a moving ceremony, Israel’s national anthem – Hatikvah – was played for the first time, after the Israeli team took gold. The minister also toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she signed the guest book in Hebrew.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a groundbreaking visit to Oman, where he met with Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said al Said. Oman later called on the Arab world to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Subsequently, Israeli Transport Minister, Yisrael Katz, attended the World Congress of the International Road Transport Union in Oman and presented plans for a railway linking Israel to the Persian Gulf.

Earlier this year, Bahrain had officially supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression.

Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service to be Introduced in Israel by Volkswagen, Mobileye in 2019

Self-driving cars in the Holy Land may hit the roads as early as 2019, as three major players announced plans to develop Israel’s first ride-hailing service using Level 4 autonomous vehicles.

The proposal from Volkswagen Group, Intel subsidiary Mobileye and Champion Motors was accepted during the recent Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv.

The New Mobility in Israel joint venture calls for Volkswagen to provide the electric cars, Mobileye to bring the self-driving smarts and Champion Motors (which represents Volkswagen in Israel) to run the fleet operations and control center.

The “Mobility-as-a-Service” (MaaS) initiative takes advantage of Israel’s relatively small geographic size and closed borders to make it a global test site.

Electric car startup Better Place had the same idea but went bankrupt in 2013 before its country-wide beta could demonstrate the viability of its battery swap business model.

Unlike Better Place, however, the new self-driving ride-hailing service has a commitment from the Israeli government for legal and regulatory support, the sharing of required infrastructure and traffic data, and access to infrastructure. These could be applied to other ventures that wish to operate a MaaS in Israel, the group says.

The project will start with tests in early 2019 with full commercialization by 2022. New Mobility in Israel will launch with several dozen cars and plans to grow to hundreds in the coming years.

The Israeli pilot will use Level 4 autonomous cars, where a car drives itself but only in a specific area that has been fully mapped out. Level 4 vehicles require a driver to be present but not to drive except in emergencies.

“We firmly believe that self-driving electric vehicles will offer Israel and cities around the world safe, clean and emission-free mobility, which is accessible and convenient,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group.

(via Israel21c)

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