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The Daily TIP: Israel Reopens Commercial Crossing into Gaza as Relative Quiet Prevails Along Border

Posted by Tip Staff - August 15, 2018

Israel Reopens Commercial Crossing into Gaza as Relative Quiet Prevails Along Border
Israel's Technion, Hebrew U. Ranked Among World's Top 100 Universities
U.S. Passes Law Calling on Qatar-Owned Al Jazeera to Register as Foreign Agent
Israeli Archaeologists Delve into 1,000 Year Old Murder Mystery

Israel Reopens Commercial Crossing into Gaza as Relative Quiet Prevails Along Border

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday called on residents of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to maintain the relative quiet along the border with Israel that has been in place this week, The Times of Israel reported.

Liberman made the comments hours after Israel reopened the main cargo crossing into the coastal enclave, the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which was closed over a month ago in reaction to Hamas-orchestrated violence.

“Calm pays, violence doesn’t,” Liberman wrote in an Arabic-language Facebook post, published on the page of Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Since this morning, firefighters have worked to extinguish one blaze caused by an incendiary balloon that fell near Kibbutz Alumim. The balloon appears to be the first incendiary airborne device to spark a fire in Israeli territory since restrictions were lifted on Gaza – the coastal enclave in complete political and military control of the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas.

While Israel continues to explore arrangements that would restore peace along the border and improve the lives of Gazans, Israeli officials have insisted that any permanent arrangement would require serious changes on the ground.

In an op-ed published in The Hill on Tuesday, The Israel Project's Vice President Lior Weintraub observed that “Life for Israeli civilians in border communities has become intolerable — fires, underground tunnels and terrorist infiltration attempts.” He explained that, although Hamas has shown tactical flexibility, the terrorist group “remains uncompromising ideologically” and is still committed to the “annihilation of the Jewish state.”

Israel's Technion, Hebrew U. Ranked Among World's Top 100 Universities

The prestigious Shanghai Ranking of world universities on Tuesday listed two Israeli academic institutions – The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – among the world’s top 100 universities, marking an impressive rise since last year.

The two universities are ranked 77th and 95th on the list, respectively, with the Technion listed as Israel’s top university for the third year in a row, The Jerusalem Post reported. The index grades and orders universities around the globe based on a variety of factors, including research and Nobel Prize winners.

“The Technion’s appearance in the top 100 universities in the world for seven straight years is the result of hard work and dedication of the Technion’s management, faculty members and employees,” said university president Peretz Lavie.

“We constantly measure ourselves and improve regardless of international rankings, but of course a high place in the Shanghai ranking is an exciting stamp of international recognition of the Technion’s excellence,” he added.

Both Israeli institutions went up in the ranking compared to 2017, with the Technion going up 16 places from last year’s 93rd spot, while the Hebrew University was not in last year's top 100 at all.

“We are proud that again, the Hebrew University is recognized as one of the world’s 100 leading universities,” Prof. Asher Cohen, president of Hebrew University said, adding that the competition was getting harder every year due to “significant investment” by East Asian countries in the academic realm.

In addition to the two high-ranking Israeli universities, the Weizmann Institute of Science was listed in the 101-150 rank, while Tel Aviv University was ranked in the 151-200 range and Ben-Gurion University came in the 401-500 rankings.

U.S. Passes Law Calling on Qatar-Owned Al Jazeera to Register as Foreign Agent

The United States Congress approved new legislation that would force foreign-owned media organizations, such as Qatar's Al Jazeera, to register as a foreign agent under U.S. regulations.

The National Defense Authorization Act has now been signed into law by President Donald Trump, which will require the federal government to more closely monitor Al Jazeera and other similar organizations, operating in the United States.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League explained, "The standard for registration under FARA is basically whether or not an entity such as a media outlet seeks to influence U.S. public opinion or policy on behalf of a foreign political entity such as a government."

The move was triggered by Al Jazeera’s attempt to infiltrate Jewish campaign groups in the United States, which created controversy after they were found to have been secretly recording these organizations.

Support for the bill was widespread and bipartisan across Congress, with Ted Cruz (R-Texas) alongside 16 congressmen writing to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling for the enforcement of FARA on Al Jazeera. One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), said at the time that “American citizens deserve to know the difference between foreign propaganda and independent media.”

A leaked 2009 cable from the then-United States ambassador to Qatar charged that Al Jazeera was "an informal tool of [the Government of Qatar's] foreign policy."

This assessment was reinforced last year when a former Al Jazeera English bureau chief in Cairo charged that Qatar used its satellite network as a “weapon against its neighbors.”

Israeli Archaeologists Delve into 1,000 Year Old Murder Mystery

Israeli archaeologists have discovered what they believe is the earliest evidence of blood vengeance.

A human skull and the desiccated palm bones of a right hand dating to about 1,000 years ago were uncovered in a cave in the Jerusalem Hills during an archaeological survey conducted by Prof. Boaz Zissu of Bar-Ilan University.

The bones were subsequently identified by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Center for Forensic Medicine and Tel Aviv University as belonging to a man aged 25-40 years.

His skull cap shows signs of two traumatic injuries that eventually healed, while death apparently was caused by a sword.

The researchers point to a text from the beginning of the 20th century that tells the story of a case of revenge. A murderer presented his family with the skull and right hand of the victim – the same body parts found now in the cave.

They assume that because the skull and palm bones indicate the person in the cave was previously involved in violent incidents and died from a fatal blow, it was likely a case of blood vengeance.

“A morphological examination of the skull shows a great resemblance to the local Bedouin population, which apparently had a tradition of blood vengeance even before the birth of Islam,” the researchers conclude. “This is consistent with historical knowledge that in the period under discussion … the Jerusalem Hills were inhabited by a Bedouin population that came from Jordan and northern Arabia.”

(via Israel21c)

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