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The Daily TIP: U.S. Special Representative Praises Israeli Hospital Staff for Treatment of Wounded Syrians

Posted by Tip Staff - August 30, 2017

U.S. Special Representative Praises Israeli Hospital Staff for Treatment of Wounded Syrians
Iran Rejects U.S. Demand for UN Inspection of Military Site, Calls it "Merely a Dream"
Two Iranian-Americans Serving 10 Year Sentence in Iran Lose Court Appeal
Cutting-Edge Israeli Device Accurately Tests Fruit for Freshness

U.S. Special Representative Praises Israeli Hospital Staff for Treatment of Wounded Syrians

Visiting the Ziv Medical Center in Safed on Tuesday, United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt praised efforts by Israeli hospital staff for providing critical treatment and care for those seeking refuge from Syria’s brutal civil war.

“These are the stories of Israel the world needs to hear, and stories like this show how peace in the region can be possible,” Greenblatt said after touring the medical facility where hundreds of patients received treatment, crossing the border from Syria, a country Israel is technically still at war with, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel has provided care for over 3,500 Syrians, both in special field hospitals set up along the border and in Israeli hospitals, including more than 1,000 at Ziv Medical Center.

Dr. Masad Barhoum, the chief executive officer of the Galilee Medical Center and the first Arab to run a medical hospital in Israel, wrote in Newsweek on Tuesday that the idea of “love your enemy” is at the heart of Israel’s efforts to save Syrian lives.

“Those Syrians who arrived in the hospital, sometimes unconscious, and woke up in the intensive care unit soon realized that they were in Israel”, Barhoum said, adding that “at first they were stunned by the devoted care, love and compassion they received from those who they had been educated to view as their enemy.”

The facility provides care for a diverse 600,000 community, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Circassians. “On the entrance to every building in the medical center is a sign with the message ‘A human to a human, is a human,’ and that is our essence,” Barhoum explained.

Some 470,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war over the course of six years of fighting and all efforts by the UN to stop the bloodshed have failed. It is one item on the agenda of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is on his first official visit to Israel this week.

Iran Rejects U.S. Demand for UN Inspection of Military Site, Calls it "Merely a Dream"

Iran has rejected a United States demand for UN nuclear inspectors to visit the country’s military facility, dismissing it as “merely a dream.”

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called on the IAEA to seek access to the Islamic Republic’s military bases to verify that the country was not concealing activities prohibited under the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the US-led group of six world powers in 2015, Reuters reported.

“The Americans will take their dream of visiting our military and sensitive sites to their graves ... It will never happen,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told reporters.

His sentiment was echoed by another government official. “Iran’s military sites are off limits,” an Iranian government spokesman said at a weekly news conference broadcast on state television on Tuesday. “All information about these sites are classified. Iran will never allow such visits. Don’t pay attention to such remarks that are only a dream,” Mohammad Baqer Nobakht added.

In April, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a review of whether a suspension of sanctions on Iran related to the nuclear deal was in the U.S. national security interest. He has dubbed the nuclear deal, signed by the Obama administration, as “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

Since the agreement came into effect, Iran has continued to boost its military capabilities. On Sunday, a senior Iranian air force commander told reporters that the Islamic Republic’s advanced S-300 air defense system, delivered by Russia, is now “fully integrated” and ready for “practical operations.”

The State Department is required under U.S. law to notify Congress every 90 days of Iran’s compliance, or the lack thereof, with the nuclear agreement. It is likely that the deal could collapse under its own weight soon, with the next deadline approaching in October. President Trump has already indicated that he thinks by then the administration will have evidence to prove that Iran is in violation of the agreement.

Two Iranian-Americans Serving 10 Year Sentence in Iran Lose Court Appeal

An Iranian-American business man and his father, sentenced to a 10-year prison term in Iran for “cooperating with the hostile American government,” have lost an appeal in court, a lawyer for the pair said.

The Times of Israel reported Monday that Jared Genser, their Washington-based legal representative, learned over the weekend that Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baquer, who are among several dual nationals imprisoned in Iran, had their appeal denied by the Tehran Appeals Court.

The men are physically and mentally in bad condition, suffering from ill health caused by the harsh conditions in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, where the regime holds political prisoners and international hostages. According to his lawyer, Siamak Namazi has spent much of his time in solitary confinement and “has been interrogated relentlessly, beaten, and tased.” He added: “I am deeply worried about the health of both of the Namazis, which has rapidly deteriorated.”

Iranian authorities arrested Siamak Namazi in October 2015 and his father, a former UNICEF representative, was arrested four months later when he came to Iran to work on his son’s release. The Islamic Republic does not recognize dual citizenship and, in most cases, dual nationals are sentenced in Iran’s Revolutionary Court in secret sessions without legal representation.

Iran has a long history of hostage taking and the Namazi family are not the only dual nationals currently imprisoned in Iran. In July 2017, Iran sentenced Xiyue Wang, a graduate student and researcher at Princeton University, to 10 years in an Iranian prison on charges of espionage. Wang is the first American taken hostage in Iran since President Hassan Rouhani won re-election in May.

Another detained dual national is also faring poorly in Evin prison. Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe, a British-Iranian employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation charity, can barely walk due to her deteriorating health, her family has claimed. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 and separated from her toddler daughter at the airport as she prepared to leave Iran after a visit with her family. She was sentenced to five years in prison in October after being accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

Cutting-Edge Israeli Device Accurately Tests Fruit for Freshness

The clementines that Avi Schwartzer picked from his backyard tasted disappointingly bland. As a computer scientist then working as R&D manager at Hewlett-Packard in Israel, he figured there must be a tool or app to help determine, on the spot, a fruit’s quality and ripeness.

He discovered “lots of scientific instruments” that each provide little pieces of this puzzle, necessitating further analysis and interpretation.

“Fast feedback is well-known in the software industry, and I was amazed that feedback in the agriculture world is so slow,” Schwartzer tells ISRAEL21c.

“This is when I came up with the idea for the AclaroMeter,” says Schwartzer, who based the name on a Latin word for understanding or clarity.

“Know Your Fruit” is the motto of AclarTech, the company he founded in December 2016 with partner Ruby Boyarski in the Rehovot suburb of Ness Ziona.

While such a meter would be welcomed by home gardeners like him, Schwartzer realized that the real market is farmers, wholesalers and retailers. And in fact, when he started developing the AclaroMeter prototype, people in those sectors responded enthusiastically.

“Over and over we heard, ‘I have been looking for something like this for 10 years!’ There is a huge demand for this product,” says Schwartzer.

With an investment from Boaz Chalamish (former senior vice president of Mercury Interactive, acquired by H-P in 2006), the partners put together a product that combines two unique made-in-Israel tools: AclarTech’s proprietary algorithm and Consumer Physics’ SCiO handheld molecular sensor.

“We put a software layer on top of the SCiO hardware. You could compare it to GPS and Waze; you cannot build Waze without GPS,” explains Schwartzer.

SCiO reveals internal attributes of the fruit, such as sweetness (BRIX) and dry weight. AclaroMeter crunches that data, along with smartphone camera images of external attributes such as color and size, to display a quality and ripeness “grade” for the fruit (or cluster of fruits) instantaneously.

All sampling data, as well as additional statistical information and reports, are available online for post-sampling and post-production analysis.

There’s also an aspect of crowd wisdom and machine learning in AclaroMeter.

“We are not fruit researchers,” says Schwartzer. “We depend on feedback from our customers, agreeing or disagreeing with the grade and adding personal opinions. This educates the algorithm to more precisely determine, for example, what is a premium-quality tomato.”

AclarTech started beta trials with potential customers and rolled it out to paying customers in June.

The business model is pay-per-use, approximately $1 to $5 per sample, depending on the type of fruit.

(via Israel21c)

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