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The Daily TIP: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iran Over Ballistic Missiles, Signals Further Measures

Posted by Tip Staff - January 05, 2018

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iran Over Ballistic Missiles, Signals Further Measures
Palestinians Protest Humanitarian and Economic Conditions in Hamas Controlled Gaza Strip
Advocates for Terror: Why Ahed Tamimi and Her Family are No Heroes
Israel’s Biotech Sector to Flourish in 2018

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iran Over Ballistic Missiles, Signals Further Measures

The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on five Iranian entities over their involvement in developing ballistic missiles and signaled that more punitive measures are in play in response to the Islamic Republic’s crackdown of anti-government protests.

The Daily Mail reported that the five designated companies are all subsidiaries of Iran's Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG), which is part of the Iranian Defense Ministry. Shahid is already under U.S. sanctions and the new designations ensure its subsidiaries are punished, too.

U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, linked the measure to the ongoing anti-government protests, arguing that Iran ought to spend more on public welfare rather than sponsoring foreign wars and terrorism.

“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people,” Mnuchin said. “We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry,” he added.

Munich continued: “As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses.” He also vowed that “The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime’s malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses.”

Earlier, the State Department had warned that Iranian officials involved in the arrest or killing of protesters would be held accountable. “We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran,” U.S. spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “To the regime’s victims, we say: ‘You will not be forgotten.”

Last month, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, presented evidence in the form of missile parts with logos suggesting they were manufactured by Shahid. According to Haley, the fragments were recovered after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles at Saudi Arabia.

Palestinians Protest Humanitarian and Economic Conditions in Hamas Controlled Gaza Strip

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Thursday evening to protest the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, which is under complete political and military control of the terrorist organization Hamas.

The Times of Israel reported that protesters directed their anger at both the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas. They demanded that the Palestinian leaders address their grievances.

“Where is the future,” “We want electricity,” proclaimed two signs held by two of the protesters, according to pictures shared on social media. “Our requests are justice, living freely and social justice,” read another sign held by demonstrators.

Others held banners with the slogan “open the crossings”, a reference to the Rafah Border Crossing out of the Strip and into Egypt that has been blocked for the most part of the past years, leaving many Gazans unable to leave the coastal enclave.

The unrest comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to the Palestinians over the ailing peace process and the PA’s refusal to return to the negotiation table with Israel.

Gaza residents have experienced harsher economic and living conditions in recent months due to a series of sanctions placed on them by the PA because of a power struggle between Fatah and Hamas. The sanctions included cutting electricity to anywhere between two to six hours daily.

The situation has remained mostly unchanged despite an Egyptian-led reconciliation process between the two rival parties. Hamas claimed earlier in December that it had handed complete control of all government ministries to the PA, but Fatah’s top negotiator later said “obstacles” remained.

The terrorist organization continues to hold on to its weapons and military hardware. The question over the fate of Hamas’s 25,000-strong military wing has been the major obstacle in reconciliation talks with Fatah and has raised questions over the terrorist group’s commitment to Palestinian unity.

Advocates for Terror: Why Ahed Tamimi and Her Family are No Heroes

As reported by media around the world, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager, has been charged by Israeli authorities with assault, after she was filmed by her family kicking, punching and slapping Israeli soldiers in mid-December.

Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, livestreamed the incident and its aftermath on her Facebook page. About seven minutes into the video, when the soldiers Ahed had attacked – supported by her mother and a cousin – had left, Ahed was asked by her mother to send a “message to the world.” As you can see in this subtitled clip, Ahed seemed embarrassed for a moment, but then she responded by dutifully repeating the slogans she had grown up with.

“I wish that everybody would participate in demonstrations because that is the only way for us to get results; because our strength is in our stones; and I wish that everybody all over the world would unite so we can liberate Palestine, because Trump must bear responsibility for the decision he took for any Palestinian reaction – be it stabbings, martyrdom-seeking operations [i.e. suicide bombings], throwing stones – everyone must do something. So we can unite this way, so we can get our message across in the required way and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.”

As shocking as it is to hear a girl who is just approaching her 17th birthday (on January 31) to casually list “stabbings” and “martyrdom-seeking operations” among the actions she wants others to take in support of her cause, there is no doubt that Ahed’s mother was pleased to hear her daughter express exactly the views she had been taught throughout her childhood.

Already two years ago, I documented in detail that Ahed’s mother, Nariman Tamimi, has long been an ardent and outspoken supporter of terrorism. When the so-called “stabbing intifada” began in autumn 2015, Nariman Tamimi shared a Facebook post with graphic instructions on where to aim a knife to achieve a lethal outcome. Whenever there was a terror attack targeting Israelis, Nariman Tamimi would again take to Facebook and praise the perpetrator as a hero. No act of murder was too gruesome: in June 2016, after a teenaged Palestinian terrorist broke into a home and killed a 13-year-old sleeping Israeli girl in her bedroom, Ahed’s mother shared a Facebook post from another Tamimi family member that praised this savage act for “return[ing] to the homeland its awe/reverence.”

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Israel’s Biotech Sector to Flourish in 2018

Israel boasts about 1,350 active companies in the life-sciences fields of medical devices, biopharma, therapeutics, diagnostics and digital health. What’s the prognosis for this major Israeli sector in the 2018?

According to the 2017 year-end report from Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), 38 percent of Israel’s active life-sciences companies are in the revenue stage. Medical devices, therapeutics and healthcare IT are the largest sub-sectors.

IATI sees increasing interest and investment from China for Israeli life-sciences innovation as the Chinese are reforming public-health services “to better care for the massive number of elderly people and booming urban populations,” says former Boston Scientific Cardiology Division president and life-sciences entrepreneur-investor Mike Berman.

“The Israeli scene is characterized by very inventive and out-of-the-box thinking by physicians and technical inventors. They’re a little more bold than American companies on average, and more capital-efficient — they will get more done on a million dollars than a company would in the United States. A vibrant ecosystem of talent has developed here on designing devices and core technologies,” he says.

Things look particularly rosy for Israeli biopharma companies.

According to the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, pharmaceutical product exports from Israel in 2016 reached $6.9 billion (out of $44 billion of industrial export from Israel), a 1.5% increase over 2015.

“Biotech has been flourishing here over the past decade, with many big inventions and discoveries driving innovation in oncology and other areas,” says Berman. “Really successful companies get acquired for a lot of money, such as Kite Pharma.”

Kite, a California-based personalized cancer immunotherapy company spun out of technology licensed from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, was acquired for $11.9 billion by Gilead Sciences last August.

The IVC Research Center in Tel Aviv picked two oncology biopharma companies, Novocure and Gamida Cell, as the Israeli life-sciences firms most likely to make financial headlines in 2018.

(via Israel21C)

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