Israel Briefs 3-27-12

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PA condemns terror in France, but Fatah continues to glorify terror in Israel 

Click photo to download. Caption: Left, Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. Right, a photo illustration of French national daily newspapers reporting on Muhammad Merah, the al Qaeda terrorist who murdered four Jews at a school in Toulouse.While the Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned al Qaeda-inspired terrorist Muhammad Merah’s murder of three Jewish children and a rabbi at Otzar HaTorah in Toulouse, France, the PA continued to glorify Palestinian terror in Israel.

Merah, according to French authorities, was motivated to commit the murder to “avenge Palestinian children.”

Nizar Farsakh, the PA’s spokesman in Washington, DC, told JointMedia News Service that the PA “condemns any attacks on innocent civilians and condemns using the Palestinian cause to justify such acts.”

“This terrorist crime is condemned in the strongest terms by the Palestinian people and their children,” Farsakh said.

On March 22, however, the official Fatah Facebook page honored Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who, with other terrorists, killed 37 Israelis—12 children and 25 adults.

“This is Dalal, my eternal love... Dalal is my mysterious young woman, my revolutionary Jihadi inspiration,” the Facebook page read, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

—JointMedia News Service

Migron residents say prime minister must still follow through on relocation deal

Sunday’s High Court of Justice decision ordering the removal of the largest outpost in Judea and Samaria by August has rattled its residents.

The 50 families living in Migron had struck a deal with the government that would have allowed them to stay there for the next three and a half years until their permanent housing units were constructed nearby, but now they fear the provisions of that agreement will not be followed through.

“We demand that the prime minister implement this agreement and the understandings struck,” one of Migron’s founders, Itay Harel, said Monday at a press conference. “This [agreement] was part of the prime minister’s responsibility and therefore he must find the necessary solutions, despite the new reality, to allow continued settlement in this place, to which we were sent by Israeli governments.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Israeli firm’s new customer service center provides jobs for Bedouin women

Bezeq, Israel’s oldest and most dominant telecommunications provider, on Sunday opened its newest customer service center—inside a mosque.

The unique facility, located in the Bedouin village of Hura near Beersheba, will provide customer service to the company’s Internet subscribers.

The project, launched in cooperation with the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Joint Distribution Committee, aims to provide employment opportunities to local Bedouin women. As of now, 50 women are employed at the facility, but additional women will be hired in the near future.

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon, who dedicated the new project, said Sunday that “incorporating the Negev’s Bedouin population into the workforce is a national goal of the highest importance.”

Bezeq CEO Avi Gabbay remarked that “the aim of opening this facility in Hura is to provide employment opportunities in the periphery and the empowerment of women.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

PA buys oil for Gaza from Israel after Hamas refuses

The Palestinian Authority agreed to purchase 450,000 liters of diesel fuel from Israel for a Gaza power plant to alleviate the severe fuel shortage in the area.

Hamas blamed an Israeli “blockade” for the fuel shortage in the Gaza strip, even though Israel does not block fuel supplies from reaching Gaza. Hamas is refusing to buy any fuel from the Jewish state, according to the Israel National News.

At the same time, Egypt has shut down the smuggling of gasoline through tunnels into Gaza, forcing 80 percent of Gaza’s fuel stations to shut down, reported the Times of Israel. Instead of taking Israeli fuel, Hamas civil servants have been offering rides to Gaza citizens during work hours.

—JointMedia News Service

Israel combats eating disorders by banning images of severely thin models

Israel became the first country to illegalize publicizing models that look seriously underweight in an effort to combat anorexia and bulimia. The Knesset unanimously passed a bill by MK Rachel Adatto (Kadima) that intends to reduce the amount of public images contributing to the development of eating disorders.

The law is a “revolution in the concept of beauty, smashing the anorexic model that has served young people who tried to copy it,” said Adatto, who is also the chairman of the Knesset Women’s Lobby, according to the Jerusalem Post. “This law…will prevent our children from falling victims to this epidemic,” she added.

—JointMedia News Service

Abbas calls Palestinian attacks on Israelis heroic

Click photo to download. Caption: Mahmoud Abbas. Credit: World Economic Forum.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter of condolence to the family of a Palestinian man who was shot dead after he attacked an Israeli soldier in Hebron with a knife. Abbas called the man’s actions “courageous.”

The official Palestinian daily publication has since referred to the shooting of the man as a “loathsome crime” and called the knife attack a “legitimate struggle,” reported Palestinian Media Watch.

A representative of Abbas also visited the family and “expressed the pride of the Palestinian leadership in this generation and in this heroism.” Previously, Abbas gave $2,000 to the family of a terrorist who was killed after he attacked Israeli soldiers with pipe bombs.

—JointMedia News Service

Former Orthodox model joins IDF

A former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” has enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces. Esther Petrack appeared in the 15th season of the show and was the only Orthodox Jewish contestant.

Petrack famously angered the Orthodox community while on the show by modeling lingerie and admitting she would be willing to violate Shabbat for the sake of the competition. “It’s just not a show where you can be Orthodox,” she said.

Since joining the IDF, Petrack has become an instructor in the IDF Armored Corps at a base in southern Israel, reported Israel Hayom. “The girls in my army course are a lot nicer than the girls on the show,” she added.

—JointMedia News Service

Sony plans to invest in Israeli medical devices

Sony Corporation is reportedly planning to invest thousands of dollars in Israeli medical technologies. The Japanese company is meeting with representatives of Israeli venture capital funds and companies to discuss opportunities for investment and acquisition.

This cooperation might be successful because the boundary between medical devices and consumer electronics is not as clear as it used to be. According to GLOBES, smartphones can offer healthcare and athletic applications, while other electronic devices sometimes work as medical monitors. Therefore, many Israeli companies might interest Sony, including those who specialize in imaging, laboratory testing automation, molecular testing, and cognitive training.

—JointMedia News Service

Israeli women are first to join firefighter commander course

Dina Jones and Dana Bokobza were selected as the first women to be part of a commander course in Israel’s Fire Services.

“Dina is an amazing firefighter, with a lot of courage and ability to act under pressure. There aren’t many like her, even among her male colleagues,” said the chairman of the Israeli Professional Firefighters’ Organization, Yoav Gadasi.

“I’m already used to people looking at me in astonishment,” said Bokobza. “But I’m the proof that everything’s possible. I love my job, and for me to break through the flames is an instinct. I don't even think about the dangers involved.”

—JointMedia News Service

Facebook expected to open advertising department in Israel

Social networking giant Facebook is expected to open an Israel office by the end of the year in order to increase its pool of potential advertisers in Israel.

Facebook is currently the second-most used site in Israel, behind Google.

The company feels that opening a local advertising department will significantly increase the purchase of Facebook ads in Israel.

Representatives from Facebook headquarters have visited Israel in the past few weeks to meet with prominent advertisers as well as companies that develop leading applications for the online social network.

The Facebook representatives, who visited employees at Google’s Israel office, were also looking to hire marketing and sales people.

Until now, Facebook’s media sales in Israel were managed by Nana10 for premium clients, i.e. advertisers with extensive budgets.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia news Service

More oil and gas discovered off Israel’s shore

Two energy companies have found 128 million barrels of oil and 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas under shallow water about 15 miles northwest of Tel Aviv.

“This is good news—we found high quality oil inshore, which can be extracted,” said Haim Gavrieli, CEO of IDB Holding Corp. Ltd, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“A previous well there produced 500 barrels of oil a day. In other words, we have an oil target in commercial quantities that can meet Israel’s energy needs for 18 months,” he added.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on March 26, 2012 and filed under Briefs, Israel.