Israel News for April 12, 2016

Climate Change
The Israeli government has unanimously approved a plan for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and improving energy efficiency. The plan is part of the effort to meet the commitment made by Israel along with many other countries at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Under the government’s plan, NIS 500 million will be allocated to provide government guarantees for loans for energy efficiency programs, and NIS 300 million will be allocated to provide grants for energy efficiency projects in enterprises and local government, with an emphasis on assisting small and medium-size businesses and less well-off local authorities. It is estimated that such energy efficiency measures will save the Israeli economy some NIS 30 billion, and will take Israel towards meeting the goals set at the Climate Change Conference.

The government will also examine ways of further lowering greenhouse gas emissions, including the reduction of the use of coal and a switch to natural gas that will substantially reduce air pollution. It will also examine ways of making transport more efficient and reducing the number of journeys people take. A team will be set up for removing barriers to the development of the Israeli cleantech industry; tax incentives will be provided to encourage the use of renewable energy and the use of energy efficient equipment; and green construction projects will be promoted.

Minister of Environmental Protection Avi Gabai said, “The State of Israel is at the start of an unprecedented revolution. The plan combines reduction of environmental damage and air pollution with stimulation of economic growth, economic savings, and greater efficiency in industry and public authorities.”

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Drone Dome
Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has unveiled a system designed to detect and destroy hostile drones. They call it the Drone Dome. The system uses a radar and cameras to detect and track the movements of enemy drones flying in prohibited areas and then disrupts its electronic systems, ending its flight.

According to the company, “Drone Dome has 360-degree circular coverage and is designed to detect, track and neutralize drones classified as threats flying in no-fly zones. Drone Dome has a very fast response time, [and] it causes minimal collateral interruptions to the surrounding urban environment, with maximum safety to friendly aircraft.”

This could be a game changer.

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Pope Cap
The Pope will soon become a financial supporter of Israel. Well, not exactly. You see, back in 2014 the Pope trading his iconic white skullcap for an identical copy held by an Italian television host. The trade was recorded by TV cameras and broadcast throughout the world. According to Church doctrine, after a pope dies, his articles of clothing become “relics” that are forbidden from being sold.

So the man who got the Pope skullcap has decided to put it up for auction (while the pope is still living) and donate the bulk of the proceeds to the Wolfson Medical Center’s Safe a Child’s Heart organization.

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israel-based international nonprofit organization, known worldwide for its commitment to saving lives by improving cardiac care for children from developing countries and creating centers of medical competence in these countries. SACH has saved the lives of 4,000 children from 50 developing countries and trained more than 100 medical team members from these countries.

The Pope’s cap is expected to fetch around $40,000.

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