Italy Allows U.S. Drones Combating Islamic State to Depart From Sicily
(JNS.org) Italy will allow armed U.S. drones to depart from an airbase in Sicily as part of defensive missions against the Islamic State terror group in North Africa, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Tuesday.
“If it is a matter of operations against terrorists, against potential Islamic State attackers, there is a close relationship between us and the other allies, above all the Americans,” Renzi said in an interview with RTL radio, Reuters reported.
Renzi said Italy will authorize defensive military strikes on a “case by case” basis.
An Italian defense ministry official said Monday that authorization to take off from the Sigonella naval air station near Catania, Italy, will only be granted if the mission’s goal is to protect personnel.
Israeli Reserve Officer Killed by Errant Gunfire During Palestinian Terror Attack
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A 30-year-old Israel Defense Forces reserve officer was critically injured Wednesday, and later died of his wounds, after he was hit by errant gunfire while a Palestinian terrorist attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction in Judea.
The terrorist approached the junction from the south and tried to stab an Israeli who was standing there. An IDF soldier at the scene drew his gun and shot toward the terrorist. The gunfire hit both the terrorist and the Israeli reserve officer Eliav Gelman, 30, who was standing nearby.
Gelman was transported by the Magen David Adom emergency response group to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he succumbed to his wounds two hours later. The terrorist was moderately wounded and was also transported to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Palestinian media identified the terrorist as a 27-year-old male resident of the village of Dura near Hebron.
The Gush Etzion Junction has been the scene of numerous attacks since the current wave of Palestinian terrorism began last fall.
Israel Haters Livid Over Beyonce, J. Lo Performances
(Arutz Sheva) In recent days it has been revealed that two top American pop icons, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, are to perform in Israel this coming summer. In response, anti-Israel activists have launched predictable efforts to try and shame the two into boycotting the Jewish state.
For both singers it will be their first time performing in Israel.
Last Thursday it was revealed that Beyonce is to hold two performances at Tel Aviv’s Park HaYarkon in early August, as part of a world tour promoting a new album. She has yet to officially announce the performance, and it appears the performance deal is currently being sealed.
Christian-Jewish Group Sponsors Latest Aliyah Wave From Ukraine
(JNS.org) On Tuesday, 116 Ukrainian Jews arrived safely in Israel as part of the ongoing “Freedom Flight” initiative by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), which helps threatened Jewish communities around the world.
“The situation in Ukraine remains dire and it is our responsibility to take care of Ukraine’s Jews,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship. “As our aliyah efforts in 2015 have shown, the better we get at providing aliyah and klitah (absorption) services, the more people will be inclined to take the leap and come home to Israel.”
According to The Fellowship, most of the new immigrants are from eastern Ukraine, where they fled the fighting between the government and Russian-backed separatists. In addition to subsidies they receive from the Israeli government, The Fellowship provides the immigrants with $1,000 per adult and $500 per child. The Fellowship also provides expanded benefits to the immigrants to cover medical needs, dental treatments, food, clothing, tutors for schoolchildren, and more.
Overall, the Freedom Flight program has brought 2,365 Jews to Israel since December 2014 from countries such as Ukraine, France, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Last year, Israel saw a 12-year high in immigration, with 30,883 people arriving. Most of those immigrants came from three countries: France (7,900), Ukraine (7,300), and Russia (6,800).
Dead Sea Scrolls to Be Digitized in German-Funded Israeli Project
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Israeli scientists and scholars are set to embark on a new collaborative research partnership to create a dynamic virtual work environment for the study of one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century—the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The conservation laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem, which tends to thousands of the 2,000-year-old scroll fragments, is heading the endeavor.
“Almost 70 years since the initial discovery [of the scrolls], ongoing technological developments now allow ever more innovative analyses and insights into these ancient manuscripts,” the IAA said on its website.
The new project is being funded to the tune of 1.6 million euros ($1.8 million) by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German-Israeli Project Cooperation, or DFG), the largest independent research funding organization in Germany.
Through the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University in Israel as well as the University of Gottingen in Germany, in cooperation with the IAA, the project will develop tools that will enable the creation and publication of a new generation of digital editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, rich in information and updatable.
The “dynamic research environment for studying the Dead Sea Scrolls will be achieved by linking the robust databases and resources of the project: the Qumran-Lexicon-project of the Gottingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library of the IAA,” the IAA said.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, thousands of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments were discovered, some in tiny pieces. Researchers have since been working on joining the fragments to one another. Now, as part of the project, advanced digital tools will be developed for suggesting new ways to join them. These tools, the IAA hopes, will help researchers identify connections between various fragments and manuscripts.
Israeli Aerospace Firm Secures Major Contracts With Boeing, Lockheed Martin
(JNS.org) Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has secured major contracts with two U.S.-based aerospace and defense firms, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
IAI announced Tuesday that it will build the empennage (tail assembly) leading edges for Boeing’s new 777X aircraft. The 777X is the next generation in Boeing’s 777 family and will debut in 2020. IAI and Boeing have a relationship going back nearly 40 years, and IAI currently supplies Boeing with the empennage leading edge for the 777 as well as the pivot bulkhead, passenger floor beams, and door surround details for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“Boeing’s renewed vote of confidence in IAI is an act that cannot be overestimated. Working with the world’s leading aviation giant serves as a stamp of quality for IAI’s technological and aviation capabilities. We are happy and proud of the agreement, and believe that this cooperation will bear fruit for years to come,” IAI said in a statement.
Separately, IAI has also secured a new contract with the U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin to produce 40 additional pairs of wings for the advanced F-35 stealth fighter jet. IAI is scheduled to produce 800 pairs of F-35 wings, with a potential value of $2.5 billion, over the next 10-15 years.
“Lockheed Martin recognizes IAI’s commitment to the F-35 program and understands the importance of the quality delivered by the IAI team. This order demonstrates our confidence in the continued performance and we look forward to continuing our healthy relationship long into the future,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager.
Headquartered in Lod, IAI is Israel’s leading aerospace and aviation firm for both the military and civilian sectors.
Oracle Buys Israeli Cloud Software Company for $500 Million
(JNS.org) The American software giant Oracle has agreed to buy the Israeli cloud software company Ravello Systems, the two firms announced Tuesday. Oracle will reportedly acquire Ravello for about $500 million, but Ravello and Oracle officials have not yet confirmed the purchase price.
“Upon closing of the transaction, our team will join the Oracle Public Cloud (OPC) organization and our products will become part of Oracle Cloud. We believe this agreement will accelerate our ability to reach more customers, deliver more value, and enhance our technology at an accelerated pace in order to better serve you,” Ravello co-founder and CEO Rami Tamir wrote in a blog post on the company’s website.
“Ravello will join in Oracle’s IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) mission to allow customers to run any type of workload in the cloud, accelerating Oracle’s ability to help customers quickly and simply move complex applications to the cloud without costly and time-consuming application rewrites,” Tamir added.
Ravello, founded in 2011, has 70 employees in Israel and the U.S. Those employees will soon join the Oracle Public Cloud group.
Israel Welcomes Kenyan President; Nations Sign Joint Statement on Water
(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday welcomed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to Israel, affirming the close relations between the two countries.
Netanyahu said Israel and Kenya are fighting the same battle against Islamic terrorism.
“Both our peoples have suffered at the hand of these, at the hands of these brutal terrorists. We have no illusions about them. They want to murder our people, and we know that this is a common battle that we share with you and we’re prepared to do a great deal more,” said Netanyahu.