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The Daily TIP: Following Mosque Attacks, Pittsburgh's Jewish Community Offers Support to N.Z.'s Muslims

Posted by Tip Staff - March 18, 2019

Following Mosque Attacks, Pittsburgh's Jewish Community Offers Support to N.Z.'s Muslims
West Bank Terror Attack Claims Two Lives, Third Victim Seriously Wounded
UN Envoy Condemns Hamas for Violence as Terror Group Beats Protesters, Journalists
Israeli Agricultural Technology Assists Farmers Around the World in Maximizing Their Yields

Following Mosque Attacks, Pittsburgh's Jewish Community Offers Support to N.Z.'s Muslims

In the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attack at two mosques in New Zealand, the Jewish community in Pittsburgh – five months after suffering a xenophobic terror attack of its own – is raising money to support the Muslim communities affected by the massacre.

Jewish organizations in the Pennsylvania city, including the Tree of Life synagogue where eleven people were killed last October, are fundraising to help the families of the 50 victims murdered in the horrific attack, The Jewish Chronicle reported Monday.

In the wake of the synagogue shooting, a crowdfunding campaign called “Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue” raised more than $200,000 in four days for those affected by the terrorist attack. Responding in kind, the Tree of Life congregation launched a GoFundMe campaign in support of Muslim communities in Christchurch.

“We feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around the world of many faiths,” the website says. “We recall with love the immediate, overwhelming support Tree of Life received from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh.”

The terrorist attack in New Zealand was the first mass shooting at a house of worship since the Tree of Life congregation was targeted.

In a statement Friday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announced the formation of a New Zealand Islamophobic Attack Emergency Relief Fund.

“Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.”

Read more at The Tower.

West Bank Terror Attack Claims Two Lives, Third Victim Seriously Wounded

Three Israelis fell victim to a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank city of Ariel on Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reported. One victim, Gal Keidan, a 19-year-old soldier guarding the Ariel junction, was killed at the scene on Sunday and buried in his hometown of Beersheba on Monday morning. Two others were wounded, one of them fatally.

Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, one of the three Israeli victims, later succumbed to his wounds, after doctors at Beilinson hospital fought to save his life for almost 24 hours. Ettinger, a resident of the Israeli town of Eli, is survived by his wife and 12 children.

The attack began around 9:45 a.m. when a Palestinian terrorist, identified as Omar Abu Lila, stabbed the soldier with a knife and managed to steal his weapon. He then shot at three passing vehicles at Ariel junction, including one that belonged to Ettinger.

The rabbi’s family said that before he was wounded, Ettinger drew his gun and shot at the terrorist a number of times. “We believe he prevented a greater terror attack from occurring,” they added.

A third victim was identified by Israeli media as Alexander Dvorsky, an immigrant from Moldova. He was described as being seriously wounded.

A second car was hit in the attack, but the driver escaped unharmed. When a third vehicle stopped, the terrorist took it and fled the scene. He then continued to the nearby Gitai junction, where he shot and wounded another soldier.

A manhunt is still underway to find Abu Lila.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the families of the Israeli victims. “These are two people that I’ve heard were wonderful,” Netanyahu said. “Our hearts are with them, the heart of the people is with the family.”

Read more at The Tower.

UN Envoy Condemns Hamas for Violence as Terror Group Beats Protesters, Journalists

A United Nations envoy has condemned the terrorist group Hamas, which exercises complete political and military control over the Gaza Strip, for the use of violence against protesters and journalists, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

As protests against Hamas for high prices have continued since last week, the terror group has implemented harsh measures to suppress the dissent. Seven journalists were reported in Hamas custody.

A source at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate told the Times that the reporters were being held for covering the protests and that those remaining in custody could be released soon.

The syndicate said that since the unrest began, Hamas had arrested 17 journalists but released ten. Four required hospitalization.

It also said that it documented instances of Hamas forces beating journalists and seizing their equipment. The group said that Hamas had beaten journalist Osama al-Kahlout, who had been held for four days.

“I strongly condemn the campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against protesters, including women and children, in Gaza over the past three days,” Nikolay Mladenov, the UN envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories, said.

"I am particularly alarmed by the brutal beating of journalists and staff from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and the raiding of homes," he continued. "The long-suffering people of Gaza were protesting the dire economic situation and demanded an improvement in the quality of life in the Gaza Strip. It is their right to protest without fear of reprisal."

According to Hebrew media reports, Hamas used live fire on Friday to quell the protests.

Friday's protests came the day after Hamas fired two rockets at Tel Aviv, leading to Israeli air strikes against the terror group's facilities overnight. Hamas fired nine more rockets into Israel Thursday night.

Read more at The Tower.

Israeli Agricultural Technology Assists Farmers Around the World in Maximizing Their Yields

It began with four co-founders in “garage” mode in 2015. Less than four years later, Israeli ag-tech company Taranis has nearly 60 employees, five overseas offices, two acquired companies and $30 million in investments.

About 19,000 farmers use the agriculture platform to make decisions about preventing disease and pest infestation in crops such as wheat, corn, soybeans, cotton and potatoes on a cumulative 20 million acres of fields in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Russia, United States, and Ukraine.

“The last three years have been pretty amazing,” acknowledges Taranis CEO Ofir Schlam from the company’s Tel Aviv headquarters. “There are a lot more needs in the field, a lot of demand for our product and more ways to use our basic technology better.”

Raised in a farming family, Schlam believed more accurate predictive models could prevent many of the world’s multibillion-dollar crop losses caused by weather, fertilizer deficiencies, diseases, and insect and weed infestations.

Taranis’ hardware and software combine high-resolution aerial imaging with computer vision and deep-learning technology.

“The hardware does aerial imagery in very high resolution. This is the basis for our newest product, AI2,” says Schlam. (That’s AI as in “aerial imagery” and “artificial intelligence” and 2 as in “squared.”)

“We can capture clear images down to the insect and leaf level from planes traveling at 200kph and drones at 55kph. Nobody else can offer that capability; the closest on the market is 1,400 times lower than our resolution and only shows a portion of the field.”

Schlam says some agricultural aerial-imaging systems simply provide a postmortem of what went wrong. Taranis’ real-time imaging and analysis let farmers implement measures to prevent damage from occurring.

Over the past year and a half, Taranis has collected a dataset of more than 10 million agricultural symptoms, probably the largest such dataset in the world according to Schlam.

(via Israel21c)

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