Israel News for February 24, 2017

Drone Destroyed
The Israel Air Force (IAF) shot down a Hamas drone yesterday as it left Gaza on its way to infiltrate Israel. The drone fell into the Mediterranean. An IDF spokesman said, “the IDF will not allow any airspace violation and will act resolutely against any such attempt.”

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Iron Dome
An upgraded version of the Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully passed a series of tests in recent days, in which the new Tamir interceptor missile destroyed several projectiles. The tests were conducted in the south and meant to test the ability of the Iron Dome to intercept a variety of targets fired simultaneously at different ranges. The Tamir contains components that were jointly designed and built by both Israel and the United States under an agreement signed in 2014.

To watch a video and see images of the test, click here.

Missiles to India
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the $2.5 billion purchase of Barak 8 advanced anti-aircraft missile system. The system was jointly developed by India’s Defense Research & Development Organization and Israel Aerospace Industries. It is designed to defend against airborne threats including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, UAVs, cruise missiles and fighter jets at a strike range of about 30-45 miles.
The system is scheduled to be deployed by 2023.

In addition to the Barak 8 system, Israel and India are also cooperating on a long-range surface-to-air system, which will be deployed on Indian Navy warships.

In 2014, India bought 8,356 Spike anti-tank missiles and 321 launchers from Israel in a deal worth 32 billion rupees ($525 million). India’s foreign minister has said that his country intended to further strengthen its ties with Israel, stressing the relationship is of “utmost importance to the Indian people.”

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More Gas
Texas-based Noble Energy will begin developing Israel’s offshore Leviathan gas field. The company will begin immediately with the first phase of the project, and said in a statement issued Thursday that it expects the first gas to flow in 2019.

Leviathan, discovered in 2010 in the Mediterranean Sea west of Haifa, is estimated to hold 16 trillion to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Noble CEO David Stover said, “Bringing Leviathan online will expand Israel’s supply of natural gas, further support the State’s commitment to convert coal-fired power generation facilities to cleaner burning gas, and provide affordable energy resources to Israeli citizens and neighboring countries in the undersupplied region.”

PM Netanyahu tweeted, “This is a day of good news for the Israeli economy and Israeli citizens. The process will provide gas supply to Israel, and will advance cooperation with regional states.”

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Hospital Treats Syrians
The Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, several miles from the Lebanese border, has treated around 1550 Syrian civilians in the last four years. But that will end unless the government reimburses the hospital the NIS 300 million it has spent treating the Syrians, according to Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

It costs Western Galilee Medical Center an average of NIS 10,321 per day to treat the Syrians, while the government transfers only NIS 1,300 daily to the hospital. This situation is leading to the collapse of the state-owned 772-bed hospital.

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TA Marathon
Around 40,000 runners took part in the Tel Aviv marathon today. Over 1,800 runners came from other countries. The winner of the marathon was from Ethiopia. He finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 13 seconds. The first Israeli crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 27 minutes.

For further info and images, click here.