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The Daily TIP: Rouhani Blames Iran’s Unrest on U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia

Posted by Tip Staff - January 02, 2018

Rouhani Blames Iran’s Unrest on U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia
Israeli Government Approves $72 Million To Fight Campaign to Boycott Jewish State
Shin Bet Arrests Hamas Terror Cell in West Bank Planning Attacks Against Israel
In 2017, Israel’s High-Tech Exists Totaled $7.44 Billion

Rouhani Blames Iran’s Unrest on U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on Monday that his country would respond to “rioters and lawbreakers,” and claimed the protests were fueled by the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to destabilize the Islamic Republic, The Times of Israel reported.

Thousands marched in towns across Iran to chants of “Death to the dictator” and demanded an end to Iran’s involvement in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen as well as the country’s support for terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

At least 21 people have so far been killed in the nationwide protests, including an 11-year-old boy, who died on Tuesday.

Rouhani dismissed the unrest as a plot orchestrated by the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia. “Our unity was a bullet (arrow) in their eyes and our progress and success in the world of politics and against the US and the Zionist regime was not bearable to them. Our success in the region was not bearable to them,” he said, according to the semi-official Fars news website. “(The Saudis) have blatantly said that we will create problems in Tehran.”

His sentiment was echoed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who made his first public statement on Tuesday, claiming that "enemies of Iran" had stirred up unrest using "cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create trouble for the Islamic Republic.”

In contrast, European governments responded with caution. Catherine Ray‏, the spokesperson of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, issued a statement saying that “The #EU is following the demonstrations in #Iran. We have been in touch with the Iranian authorities… we expect that the right to peaceful demonstration & freedom of expression will be guaranteed, following Psdt Rohani's public statements…. We will continue to monitor the situation #Iran.”

Israeli Government Approves $72 Million To Fight Campaign to Boycott Jewish State

The Israeli government has approved a $72 million plan to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in the public domain, The Times of Israel reported on Friday.

The initiative, which was approved by an executive decree last week, marks the largest monetary investment yet by Israel toward combating the BDS movement against the Jewish State. The plan calls for setting up a non-profit organization managed by a board comprised of government officials and private donors from Israel and abroad.

The board will oversee the first major “civil-society infrastructure servicing the State of Israel and the pro-Israel community in the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel,” according to a notice sent to government officials.

The multi million project will be funded partly by the government and partly by Jewish philanthropists and communities abroad. $36 million for the plan will come from the Israeli Public Diplomacy Ministry, while the rest will be fundraised by private donors, some of whom have pledged "to give $2 and $3 to any dollar put in by the Israeli government beyond the initial funding."

The Times of Israel reported that the new organization would initiate “public campaigns, lobbying, arranging for solidarity visits to Israel by opinion shapers,” as well as “establishing new and social media presence, and interacting with pro-Israel organizations worldwide for coordinated action with a focus on Europe.”

The announcement comes a week after New Zealand pop superstar Lorde decided to cancel her performance in Tel Aviv in June 2018 after pressure from supporters of the BDS campaign. According to the Israeli government, the new organization would seek to counter such efforts and encourage artists to come and perform in the Jewish State.

The project also seeks to give Israel a global voice in the face of terrorist attacks and anti-Israel votes at international forums. The government hopes that by privatizing such efforts, Israel’s response can be quicker and more efficient.

Shin Bet Arrests Hamas Terror Cell in West Bank Planning Attacks Against Israel

Israeli security forces have arrested a five-member Hamas terrorist cell in the West Bank the Shin Bet revealed Monday, as the agency warned that the Gaza-based terrorist group was increasingly trying to carry out attacks in the West Bank and Israel.

“Recently, there’s been a marked increase in motivation by the Hamas high command in the Gaza Strip to encourage terror attacks by their operatives in the West Bank,” a Shin Bet official said in a statement.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the operation took place in November and involved the arrest of Abdallah Arar, a Hamas activist who was involved in the 2005 abduction and murder of Jerusalem resident Sasson Nuriel.

According to Shin Bet, Abdallah Arar instructed Alaa Salim, a resident of the Palestinian West Bank town of Jaba, to set up the cell and to purchase a M16 rifle for the group to carry out an attack as soon as possible.

Salim also contacted other residents of Jaba, Rayan and Shihadah Tua’m, to help him purchase the gun and carry out the assault. Shihadah Tua’m, in turn, “reached out to Mahmoud Abu Arqoub, a young Hamas operative, a resident of A-Ram (near Jerusalem), and brought him into the cell,” the Shin Bet said.

Since the beginning of the latest wave of violence that hit Israel and the West Bank, numerous Hamas attacks have been stopped by the intelligence agencies. “The security forces will continue to act decisively to thwart Hamas’s efforts to carry out attacks in Israel, and make it clear that Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be responsible for any attack that they direct,” Shin Bet stated.

Nadav Argaman, the head of Shin Bet, said in December that the security service had thwarted more than 400 terrorist attacks in 2017, including 13 planned suicide attacks, eight kidnappings and 1,100 potential lone-wolf attacks.

In 2017, Israel’s High-Tech Exists Totaled $7.44 Billion

Israeli high-tech exits totaled $7.44 billion in 2017, 110% more than the $3.5 billion in exits in 2016. An exit is defined as a merger, acquisition or initial public offering (IPO).

Year-end figures for Israel’s high-tech industry released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Israel (excluding exits of less than $5 million) reveal that the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving Israeli companies increased 9% over 2016 to 131, and 9% of those deals were worth $400 million to $1 billion.

The average price of M&A deals went down 27% in 2017 to $142 million, the first decline in five years.

Nearly half the exits cited in the report were in the computing and software sector, including cybersecurity technologies. Life-sciences companies accounted for about a quarter of the exits, Internet companies 12%, and communications companies 9%.

As for IPOs, 11 Israeli high-tech companies held IPOs on stock exchanges in Israel, the U.S., Sweden, the U.K. or Australia, raising an aggregate $414 million at an aggregate company value of $1.5 billion, a substantial increase over 2016. The biggest IPO the report cited this year was by software company ForeScout Technologies, which raised $116 million on NASDAQ in October.

The PwC report speculates that the increase in IPOs will continue in 2018 and that new markets, “such as the stock exchange in Canada and various Far Eastern markets, will also be an attractive option for an IPO.”

The report further explains that the shifts seen in 2017 reflect an “evolutionary trend” in Israeli high-tech, moving from early exits to deals at a more mature stage in a company’s life.

In addition, PwC noted more local acquisitions than in the past, by strong Israeli companies such as Gett, Innovid, Playtika and Radware. Companies based in China, India, Japan and Europe were increasingly involved in M&As with Israeli firms, while in the past most such activity involved American companies.

(via Israel21c)

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