Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
March 15, 2019
Hamas Breaks Up Gaza Protests (AP-Daily Mail-UK)
Hamas security forces in Gaza on Thursday forcibly dispersed hundreds of Palestinians protesting dire living conditions.
Videos circulated on social media showed police firing live rounds in the air, beating protesters and hauling them into police vehicles after demonstrators burned tires and blocked roads.
See also Video: Hamas Suppresses Protesters in Gaza (GazaLive-Twitter)
Video: Islamic Education Center in Houston Celebrates Iran's Islamic Revolution; Schoolchildren Sing: Khamenei Is Our Leader, We Are His Soldiers (MEMRI)
The Islamic Education Center of Houston, Texas, celebrated the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution on Feb. 17, 2019.
A video uploaded by the center shows the audience chanting: "Allah Akbar! Khamenei is our Leader!"
In addition, young boys wearing green headbands sang: "You are our Leader....We are your soldiers."
Iran Hacks Cellphone of Israeli Party Leader ahead of Election - Isabel Debre (AP-ABC News)
Israeli media reported Thursday that the Israel Security Agency warned former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz that Iranian intelligence hacked his cellphone several months ago.
Gantz heads a new Israeli political party running in the upcoming April 9 Knesset elections.
Iran's Oil Tanker Fleet Squeezed as Sanctions Bite - Jonathan Saul (Reuters)
Iran is running short of options to replace its aging fleet of oil tankers.
Since the U.S. reimposed sanctions in November, talks with South Korea for up to 10 new supertankers have stalled and Panama has removed 21 Iranian tankers from its registry, forcing Tehran to put the vessels under its own flag.
"Iran has been looking for ships, but this time round it is going to be harder - there is so much more scrutiny now," one shipping source said.
"Israelis Led India's Airstrikes": In Pakistan, the Hindu-Zionist Conspiracy Theory Takes a Wild Turn - Kunwar Khuldune Shahid (Ha'aretz)
It is now an established narrative in Pakistan, not a fringe opinion, that Israel helped India plan the air raid in Pakistan that targeted camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terror group which claimed last month's suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
A section of the mainstream media even "unveiled" how an Israeli pilot was currently in custody, having been captured by Pakistan.
Hizbullah on the Golan: What Happened to Putin's Promise? - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
On Tuesday, the IDF revealed a new deployment of Hizbullah on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border.
Only last summer, Russia promised that it would remove Iranian forces and Shi'ite militias to a distance of 80 km. (50 miles) from the border.
Putin, a so-called friend, is not delivering.
Exxon Eyes Israel Gas Bid in Major Middle East Shift - Ron Bousso (Reuters)
Exxon Mobil Corp. is considering exploring for oil and gas in Israel, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Exxon executives held talks with Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz in Houston this week about bidding for the right to explore and pump oil from offshore blocks in an auction that Israel will hold in June.
Egypt Moved Border Town to Combat Smuggling Tunnels (Strategy Page)
Egypt's government has completed the first phase of building the new town of Rafah, 2 km. from the Gaza border.
Over 1,500 structures were torn down in the original Rafah, straddling the Gaza border, starting in 2015 to create a buffer zone over 1,000 meters wide.
Moving Rafah caused a lot of anger among those living there. Although they received new homes and assistance in moving, the population had their lives disrupted and were forced to accept homes in high-rise apartment buildings.
Building apartment buildings made it easier for Egyptian authorities to check basements for smuggling tunnels.
Israeli Flag Hoisted at Judo Grand Prix in Morocco - Latifa Babas (Yabiladi-Morocco)
To the great displeasure of anti-normalization activists, ten Israeli judokas participated in the Judo Grand Prix, held in Marrakech on March 9-10.
The Israeli flag was hoisted twice after two Israeli judokas won bronze medals in the competition.
Jerusalem Marathon Kicks Off with 40,000 Runners from 80 Countries (Times of Israel)
More than 40,000 runners from 80 countries joined the largest-ever Jerusalem Marathon on Friday.
U.S. Ambassador Friedman Greets Special-Needs IDF Soldiers - Zack Evens (Jerusalem Post)
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visited the Palmachim Air Force Base last week to observe how the IDF has integrated people with disabilities into the army.
There are about 50 soldiers with autism and other disabilities currently serving at the Palmachim base and around 400 serving in the army in total.
Their service is organized by the IDF's Special in Uniform program.
Israel is the only country in the world in which autistic and disabled soldiers serve in the army.
"This project is a national pride, a light unto the nations," said Lt.-Col. (res.) Gabi Ophir, a founder of Special in Uniform.
Ophir's daughter, who has Williams syndrome, a developmental disorder, currently serves in the army as part of the program.
UK's Stryker Buys Israeli Orthopedic Device Company OrthoSpace for $220 Million - Gali Weinreb (Globes)
UK med-tech company Stryker announced Thursday it had completed the acquisition of Israeli orthopedic device company OrthoSpace Ltd. for $220 million.
OrthoSpace develops and commercializes simple-to-implant, biodegradable balloon systems for orthopaedics that reduce pain and increase patients' range of motion while preserving patient bone and joint structures.
Israeli Company Verbit Launches Real-Time Transcription Solution (Globes)
Verbit has announced its real-time transcription solution - Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART).
CART generates live closed captions through its proprietary AI-powered speech recognition technology.
The transcripts are also enhanced through a dual layer of professional transcribers, with up to three backup type correctors per session working in real-time to correct inaccuracies.
Disabled Animals Given New Lease on Life at Israeli Sanctuary - Elana Ringler (Reuters)
Miri, a three-legged donkey, Gary, a sheep with leg braces, and Omer, a blind goat, munch on some hay at Israel's only animal rescue and educational sanctuary at Moshav Olesh in central Israel.
Founded by animal rights activists, Freedom Farm serves as a refuge for mostly disabled animals and as an educational center for visitors.
Meital Ben Ari, 38, said children with special needs particularly enjoy tours of the farm.
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