israelam news

Israel News for 1-5-18

IDF Tech Unit
The IDF has revealed the existence of unit 3060, an intelligence unit established in 2014 that develops software and applications designed to streamline and improve the information flow between intelligence gathering and processing units and operational forces.

The unit is called the “Purple Unit,” representing its position between the Israeli forces, marked in blue in Israeli military maps, and enemy forces, marked in red. The unit numbers some 400 soldiers and officers.

Among other technological solutions, the unit developed and operates an artificial intelligence-based software called ‘Albert,’ which translates information to a simple graphic interface, similar to a smartphone app, and transmits it to operational forces on the ground. The unit nurtures relationships with the Israeli tech and academic community.

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Air Force Strikes
Israeli Air Force jets attacked terrorist infrastructure targets in Gaza yesterday in response to three mortar shells fired from Gaza into Israel. The mortar shells landed in open fields and caused no damage.

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Cutting Aid
A senior White House official said yesterday that the administration is examining possible aid cuts to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of President Trump’s recent threat to cut funding because of the PA’s refusal to negotiate a peace deal.

Trump tweeted, “It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”

The US is also evaluating its financial backing of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The United States was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. The same year, it donated another $357 million to Palestinian aid projects, including $290 million through USAID and $54 million for security and justice assistance.

On Tuesday, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said, “I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table. We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”

While publicly backing the Trump administration’s moves, sources say that PM Netanyahu is working behind the scenes to prevent the US from cutting funds from UNRWA, fearing that it could destabilize the Gaza Strip.

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New Route
El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) will launch direct flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco in the fourth quarter of 2018. The flights will be three times a week. San Francisco will become EL AL’s sixth destination in North America, alongside New York (JFK and Newark), Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and Toronto.

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Shabbat Music
Here’s some Shabbat music performed in an interesting fashion. To watch click here.