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The Daily TIP: In Israel, Modi Announces Direct Flights to India

Posted by Tip Staff - July 05, 2017

In Israel, Modi Announces Direct Flights to India
Amid Heat Wave, Gazans Blame Hamas for Lack of Power
Holocaust Survivors Urge Poland to Reject Palestinian Effort to Claim Hebron
Israeli Startup Seeks to Revolutionize Drone Delivery Systems

In Israel, Modi Announces Direct Flights to India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced the inauguration of a flight service to Tel Aviv from Delhi and Mumbai.

Speaking at an event for the Indian community in Israel, Modi also promised to ease requirements for Israeli military veterans of Indian heritage to receive Overseas Citizen of India and Person of Indian Origin cards, The Times of India reported.

Modi makes a point of holding large gatherings of Indians when he travels abroad, and has held similar events in New York, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Modi met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin earlier in the day, saying he "welcomed me so warmly, he broke protocol. This is a mark of respect for the people of India."

Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also signed seven agreements in fields including space, agriculture, and water conservation. The two met with Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were killed in a 2008 terror assault on a Jewish center in Mumbai.

In a statement to the Israeli press, Modi noted the similarity of the threats faced by both Israel and India, saying, "India has suffered firsthand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel."

"I am confident that the strength of these links ... will hold us in good stead as we forge a partnership for the 21st century," he added.

The alliance between Israel and India is "a marriage really made in Heaven but we're implementing it here on Earth," Netanyahu said in a statement.

Amid Heat Wave, Gazans Blame Hamas for Lack of Power

The same heat wave that is keeping temperatures high across Israel is also scorching the Gaza Strip, where residents who are struggling with the bleak consequences of the electricity crisis, the result of infighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, blame Hamas for their predicament, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

The electricity shortage has turned basic goods and services into luxuries. With temperatures soaring to 37°C (98°F), strategies for cooling off, including showers, swimming, air conditioning, and electric fans, are all but unavailable. Even fresh water is in short supply.

In a series of interviews with The Times of Israel, residents described the dire situation in the Strip, on the condition of strict anonymity for fear of retaliation from authorities in Gaza.

As for who is responsible for the crisis, “most of the anger is directed at Hamas,” explained Sami, a medical intern. He said the electricity crisis is the hot topic in Gaza and “people repeatedly hating Hamas for this particular reason.”

Depending on which neighborhood he lives in, the average Gazan has access to either four to six or two to three hours of electricity a day, which makes a daily routine impossible. “When the power comes, for two to three hours, you run like a madman to manage to recharge everything, pump water, shower, sleep, work, get online, cool down and breathe, all in two hours,” said Ali, a 30-year-old journalist.

Holocaust Survivors Urge Poland to Reject Palestinian Effort to Claim Hebron

A group of Polish-born Holocaust survivors have urged Warsaw to reject a Palestinian effort at UNESCO, the cultural organization of the United Nations, to have Hebron listed as an endangered Palestinian heritage site.

The letter to Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was written by twelve survivors who now live in Israel, Ynet reported.

Poland is hosting the 41st gathering of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow this week.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of the nonprofit Shurat Hadin, which helped organize the letter, called the UNESCO effort a "pitiful resolution that creates a Palestinian narrative that is a complete lie."

"Hundreds of Jewish cemeteries in Poland were desecrated and destroyed during the Holocaust," Darshan-Leitner added. "We're asking the Polish government not to take part in desecrating another grave in Hebron."

Washington's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, similarly blasted the proposed resolution in a letter to both UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bukova.

Noting that the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is holy to all three major monotheistic religions, is "under no immediate threat," Haley wrote, "Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have," especially when there are cultural sites "under real and imminent threat of destruction today" in Congo, Libya, Iraq, and Syria.

Haley added that the proposed resolution "is particularly ill-timed and unfortunate," given the Trump administration's efforts to improve chances of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Startup Seeks to Revolutionize Drone Delivery Systems

Delivery by small pilot-less aircraft from the store to your door is coming soon. Amazon is experimenting with it in the United States and Britain right now. Postal services in Europe are running tests, too. Civil aviation authorities in Africa are amending their regulations to make flying over urban environments safe.

The missing piece: automating the entire system so that each drone doesn’t need to be manually operated without knowledge of what else is in the sky. That’s where Israeli startup Flytrex comes in.

Flytrex wants to be the FedEx of the drone-delivery world. Just as FedEx doesn’t manufacture trucks or planes but provides the software and human infrastructure to make the most of existing tools, Flytrex has created a cloud-based back-end that allows its customers to operate drones remotely.

Flytrex’s software is about more than being able to set pick-up and delivery points. All kinds of data – information about the weather, topography and other drones in the air – can be sent from the cloud to a drone in real time.

“It’s one thing to design a nice drone to deliver goods, but it’s much more complicated to take charge of the whole system,” Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash tells ISRAEL21c.

While Flytrex doesn’t have any paying customers yet, Bash expects to announce the company’s first deployed system in the third quarter of 2017, probably in Africa or Eastern Europe.

While it isn’t likely that Flytrex will be operating in Jerusalem anytime soon, Bash said, “I expect we’ll see drones above the Knesset in the next few years, delivering sushi to MKs.”

(via Israel21c)

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