Israel news cover

Israel News for 10-2-17

Mossad Equality
The Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA) has, for the first time, appointed two women as division heads, with ranks comparable to the IDF’s major-general. Both women have served in the Mossad for two decades or longer. The Mossad also appointed women to head several subdivisions and units as part of an organization-wide gender equality campaign.

For further reading click here.

Russia Trade
Trade between Israel and Russia has grown by 25% in the first half of 2017. The increase comes amid tightening cooperation between Israel and Russia on security issues connected with Syria, where Russian forces are actively supporting the Assad regime. The fact that the US and European Union has imposed sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine is most likely a factor in the increased trade with Israel.

For further reading click here.

PM Denies Meddling
PM Netanyahu denied an accusation by Turkish President Erdogan that the Mossad interfered with the recent Kurdish vote in favor of independence. Erdogan last week also threatened to halt steps being taken toward normalization with Israel if it does not end its support for an independent Kurdish state.

The PM said, “I understand why those who support Hamas and want to see the Mossad everywhere that is uncomfortable for them, but Israel had no part in the Kurdish referendum, apart from the deep, natural sympathy that the people of Israel have had for many years for the Kurdish people and their aspirations.”

Netanyahu was the only leader in the region to endorse the referendum. Israeli flags are oven seen waving at Kurdish pro-independence rallies.

Alexa Israel
Amazon has announced the opening of a new Alexa Shopping research and development center in Israel, which will operate out of two new office spaces in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The company has already begun recruiting product managers, software engineers and scientists to join the new team, with the goal of filling 100 new positions.

Amazon announced that the Israeli team will work on core technology pertaining to the Alexa shopping assistant, concentrating on the fields of natural language and high-precision search. Amazon started building its presence in Israel in 2013 with a cloud services division. The company said the new R&D center will double its current presence in Israel.

For further reading click here.

Beware of Wolves
There’s apparently a pack of around 20 wolves that lives between Masada and Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea. The area is a popular tourist destination. Recently, there have been several incidents of wolves “encountering” humans in the area. Wolves usually keep away from humans, but a few of them have seemingly lost their fear of humans. People have also been feeding the wolves, which is also enticing them into coming close to camp sites.

Some locals want the wolves exterminated, but park rangers have decided to trap the troublemakers and transfer them to more distant wilderness areas. Two wolves have been captured so far.

For further reading click here.