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The Daily TIP: Israeli, PA Officials Attend “Historic” Inauguration of Palestinian Power Station

Posted by Tip Staff - July 12, 2017

Israeli, PA Officials Attend "Historic" Inauguration of Palestinian Power Station
Ex-Palestinian Authority Minister: I Quit Over Widespread Corruption
After Liberation, Will Mosul Fall to Iran?
Israeli App Protects Users' Data from Snoopers While Using Unsecured Hot Spots

Israeli, PA Officials Attend "Historic" Inauguration of Palestinian Power Station

Israeli and Palestinian officials on Monday signed a deal governing the transfer of power to the Palestinian Authority and attended the "historic" opening of a new Palestinian power station located near the West Bank city of Jenin.

The substation will allow Israel to provide 135 more megawatts of electricity to the northern West Bank, the area under PA control that experiences the most frequent outages, The Times of Israel reported.

After signing the deal, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah; Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz; IEC Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal; and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai turned on the substation together.

Steinitz said the deal was a “win-win project” for Israel and the PA. "It’s good for Palestinians because they will get more electricity, which will be more stable and of higher quality,” he observed.

Hamdallah added that the substation was “pivotal to enhance our independence so we can meet the growing needs of our people in the electricity sector.” He also expressed gratitude to Israel for “its cooperation to facilitate” the completion of the substation.

Jason Greenblatt, the White House's special envoy for international negotiations, also welcomed the substation's inauguration, saying that it "sets the stage for further agreement on broader electricity cooperation," and represents "important progress" towards the administration's goal of boosting the Palestinian economy and improving "prospects for a just, secure, and lasting peace."

Ex-Palestinian Authority Minister: I Quit Over Widespread Corruption

An ex-Palestinian Authority minister revealed in a statement, posted on social media on Sunday, that he quit his post in October 2015 because of the high level of corruption in the Palestinian government.

Shawqi al-Issa, who served as minister of agriculture and minister of social affairs in the Palestinian unity government that took office in June 2014, did not reveal at the time of his resignation why he stepped down from his position, the Times of Israel reported.

During that period, Israel was hit by a persistent wave of stabbing, ramming, and shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. In a post on Facebook, al-Issa criticized the PA over a lack of support for the attacks, accusing them of “opportunism.”

The ex-minister also explained that the reason for his resignation was the systemic corruption inside the PA. “It was not possible nor permitted to carry out any useful action to reduce corruption, or improve the services provided to our people," he said.

Al-Issa added that “the well-qualified and non-corrupt officials continued to be removed, while those suspected of corruption had their positions strengthened.”

Attached to his post was his original letter of resignation to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

“You always said you supported what I was doing, but unfortunately, this was not reflected in the reality,” he added.

A poll published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in July revealed that 79 percent of Palestinians believe PA institutions are corrupt.

After Liberation, Will Mosul Fall to Iran?

After a brutal nine-month war, the Iraqi Army has liberated Mosul from ISIS. The city, Iraq’s second largest, is all but destroyed.

The butcher’s bill tallies 30,000 people dead and counting. Another 600,000, roughly a third of the population, have been displaced. Roughly three-fourths of Mosul’s buildings are in ruins, two-thirds of its electrical grid is shredded, and much of what’s left of the water system is booby-trapped. The price tag for reconstruction will be tens of billions of dollars that Iraq doesn’t have.

Now comes the hard part.

Anyone with sufficient weapons and training can kill terrorists, and it’s much harder to rebuild a city than level it. Harder still in a fractious sectarian place like Iraq is establishing enough political trust and goodwill that hardly anyone will be interested in picking up a rifle and shooting at the neighbors again.

It’s not an impossible task, but if past behavior best predicts future behavior, what has happened during the last couple of years in Saddam Hussein’s hometown isn’t encouraging. ISIS fighters conquered Tikrit, 87 miles northwest of Baghdad and home to roughly 160,000 people, in June of 2014. They began their reign of terror the very next day by executing more than 1,500 Iraqi Air Force recruits and burying them in mass graves. The Iraqi Army didn’t take back the city until the following March and was only able to do so with help from Shia militias backed by Iran.

Read the rest here.

Israeli App Protects Users' Data from Snoopers While Using Unsecured Hot Spots

You always need to assume someone’s looking over your shoulder when you’re using public Wi-Fi: a hacker, or the government, or a plain old snoop.

Virtual private networks were invented to remedy this problem for businesses. An Israeli app called SaferVPN is being used by individuals and companies (even cybersecurity telecom enterprises) for greater security and privacy on unsecured public Wi-Fi.

The app automatically detects public Wi-Fi and alerts users, providing them with immediate access to a remote server that directs data through an encrypted “tunnel.” That remote server’s IP address can be somewhere other than where you’re actually located.

Founded in 2013 in Tel Aviv, SaferVPN boasts more than a million users in more than 240 countries, with the largest number of customers from the United States, Russia, China, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Turkey (in that order).

SaferVPN is now partnering with human-rights crowdsourcing platform Movements.org to provide activists and dissidents in closed societies with free VPN access so they can browse the Internet safely and free of censorship.

“We recently started working with notable Iranian human-rights activist and former political prisoner Kaveh Taheri to raise awareness about the lack of online and basic human freedoms in many countries throughout the Middle East,” says Karen Mesoznik, head of marketing communications at SaferVPN.

Cofounded by CEO Amit Bareket and CPO Sagi Gidali, SaferVPN has 25 employees. It was bootstrapped for its first two years and then held two funding rounds, raising a total of $1.1 million.

(via Israel21c)

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