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The Daily TIP: IDF: Syrian Forces "Indiscriminately" Firing Anti-Aircraft Weapons Downed Russian Plane

Posted by Tip Staff - September 20, 2018

IDF: Syrian Forces "Indiscriminately" Firing Anti-Aircraft Weapons Downed Russian Plane
Gaza Health Ministry Walks Back Claim that IDF Killed Boy, Says He Died from Head Injury
University of Michigan Issues Statement Opposing Academic Boycotts of Israel
Innovation Hub Focusing on Maritime Technology Comes Ashore in Haifa

IDF: Syrian Forces "Indiscriminately" Firing Anti-Aircraft Weapons Downed Russian Plane

The IDF took the rare step of acknowledging airstrikes in Syria following the downing of a Russian plane, which it attributed to Syrian forces firing "indiscriminately," The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

"Israel expresses its regret over the death of the crew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire,” a statement from the IDF's Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

“Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane fully responsible for this incident. Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident."

Russian President Vladimir Putin later said that Israel was not responsible for shooting down the plane, but that the plane was hit as a result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances.”

The IDF's response had been prompted by official Russian statements blaming Israel for the downing of the plane.

Earlier, an official from Russia's Defense Ministry told the TASS news agency that the plane, identified as an IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft, disappeared from radar as Israeli F-16 fighters fired on targets in the western Syrian province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry accused Israel of using the plane as cover for its attacks on Syria.

The IDF statement was summarized in a series of tweets. While the IDF expressed sorrow over the deaths of the Russian personnel, it charged that the plane had been struck by "Syrian anti-aircraft fire," and that the IDF "holds the Assad regime ... responsible" for the incident.

Gaza Health Ministry Walks Back Claim that IDF Killed Boy, Says He Died from Head Injury

An official in the Gaza Health Ministry on Monday walked back the assertion made by the Islamist terror group Hamas that a 12-year-old boy, who died over the weekend on the Israel-Gaza border, had been shot by IDF troops, The Algemeiner reported.

“The boy died of a head injury,” said the medical source, who asked not to be identified, declining to give additional information and avoiding blaming the Israeli army for the child’s death.

On Friday, Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, said the boy, Shadi Abdel-Al, had been shot dead by Israeli troops east of Jabalia in the northern part of the Strip.

However, the IDF said its own evidence showed that Abdel-Al was hit by a rock thrown by protesters. "According to the indicators and testimonies, the boy was killed as a result of an injury from stones thrown during the violent riots," an IDF spokeswoman said.

Her claim was corroborated by a Gaza-based rights groups, which said the boy died after being struck “with a solid object,” the AP reported earlier this week.

This was not the first time that Hamas was caught lying about a death of a child in relation to the border riots. In June, a Palestinian prisoner told Israeli authorities that Hamas paid his relatives to falsely tell the media that his baby cousin died of tear gas inhalation during the border riots. The death of Layla Ghandour, an 8-month-old baby, was originally reported on May 14 to have been caused by the IDF.

University of Michigan Issues Statement Opposing Academic Boycotts of Israel

Criticizing a faculty member who refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student planning on studying in Israel, the University of Michigan released a statement Monday expressing the institution's opposition to boycotts of Israel.

The statement faulted an unnamed faculty member for allowing his "personal political beliefs" to interfere with the "support" he is willing to offer a student.

Shiri Moshe had reported Monday in The Algemeiner that Michigan Professor John Cheney-Lippold of the school's Department of American Culture’s Digital Studies program refused to write a letter of support for a student, who was preparing to study abroad in Tel Aviv.

In a letter to the student, Cheney-Lippold wrote, "as you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine." He explained further that “writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study” in Israel would violate the terms of the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to isolate Israel.

Cheney-Lippold's explanation is consistent with the official guidelines of the BDS campaign, which considers "writing recommendations" for students who wish to study in Israel as a violation of the boycott.

The student, who preferred to remain anonymous, wrote to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, describing Cheney-Lippold's response as "very disturbing, as he is allowing his personal beliefs (and apparently those of ‘many university departments’) to interfere with my dreams of studying abroad.”

The statement from Michigan asserted that the school "has consistently opposed any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education," and that "no academic department or any other unit at the University of Michigan has taken a position that departs from this long-held university position."

Innovation Hub Focusing on Maritime Technology Comes Ashore in Haifa

An Israeli startup called Pick a Pier is bringing the Airbnb concept to boat marinas. Another Israeli startup, Loginno, built a smart container-tracking solution to monitor location and cargo conditions.

These are two of the seven companies in the first cohort of theDOCK, an Israeli innovation hub and accelerator that has set sail on a big blue ocean of opportunities for maritime innovation.They were chosen from more than 60 enterprises vetted by theDOCK founders Hannan Carmeli and Nir Gartzman.

“There are many signs that the maritime sector globally is undergoing a technology-driven revolution and we believe that will grow,” Carmeli tells ISRAEL21c.

Two particularly significant signs propelled the new venture.

“First, each maritime shipping company has started hiring a vice president of innovation. Even companies with a heritage of more than 100 years are realizing that their competition in the coming years is Amazon, not other shippers,” says Carmeli.

“Second, Israel has many relevant technologies for this upcoming revolution: big data, AI, deep learning, cyber, drones. But we are missing in action in the maritime sector – with the exception of maybe 10 startups such as Freightos and Windward. That doesn’t really move the needle. We founded theDOCK to make Israel the startup nation for that sector as well.”

In addition to Pick a Pier and Loginno, the initial portfolio of theDOCK includes Haystack Magic (tagging and mapping), AiDock (customs clearance using an artificial intelligence process), ORCA (autonomous capabilities for vessels), FAST (professional network for freight forwarders) and Tiidan (online monitoring of suppliers).

(via Israel21c)

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