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June 28, 2019
U.S. Forming New Persian Gulf Plan, Enlisting Other Countries to Keep Watch - Michael R. Gordon (Wall Street Journal)
An emerging U.S. plan for deterring attacks on tankers that Washington blames on Iran calls for ships from Arab, Asian and other foreign nations to stand watch in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman while maritime patrol planes fly overhead, U.S. officials said.
The operation would be commanded not by the U.S., but by a U.S. ally. The U.S. military likely would contribute aircraft as well as ships and would organize the communications.
The aim is to dissuade Iran from conducting clandestine attacks by shining a spotlight on the critical sea lanes in the region.
Khamenei's Secret Stash Could Help Iran Weather U.S. Sanctions - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
American estimates say Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei controls a $200 billion fortune in the financial institution founded decades ago by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Executive Headquarters of Imam's Directive (SETAD).
This financial cushion could, if needed, be used by the government as it tries to cope with the existing sanctions.
Would Palestinian Factions Attack Israel for Iran's Sake? - Rasha Abou Jalal (Al-Monitor)
As Iran is the main party fueling Palestinian resistance factions, if a military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. were to break out, what are the chances of this leading to a new clash between the factions and Israel, a key U.S. ally against Iran?
Hamas leader Yahya Moussa told Al-Monitor, "Iran and Hamas have an old political alliance based on Iranian bias to Palestinian rights, but this alliance does not entail Hamas engaging in a war for Iran's sake."
"No military confrontation between Israel and the resistance has ever had foreign goals. We don't have to be dragged into a war with Israel if Iran faces a military attack."
However, a prominent Islamic Jihad leader said, "Islamic Jihad will not abandon the country that supported it [Iran] in fighting Israel, if that party faces an attack."
Hassan Abdo, a political analyst close to Islamic Jihad, said Hamas and Islamic Jihad "will not hesitate to engage in military confrontation against Israel....There is no resistance without Iran, which is the backbone of all anti-Israel military resistance in Palestine and Lebanon."
Iran Unlikely to Learn Much from Recovered U.S. Intelligence Drone - Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory and Rachel S. Cohen (Air Force Magazine)
Even though Iran claims to have recovered portions of the U.S. Navy drone it shot down over the Strait of Hormuz on June 19, it's unlikely the country will be able to gather much U.S. military technical intelligence from the aircraft.
Lt.-Gen. (ret.) David Deptula said "parts and pieces" that have appeared on television in the wake of the attack "are pretty mangled and destroyed."
Deptula added that while Iran's SAM capability was well known before the attack, what wasn't known was "that they would violate the rules of international governance by shooting down an unarmed aircraft in international airspace."
"The presumption of being able to operate in permissible airspace is one that was legitimate over the last quarter of a century, but this shootdown demonstrates the consequences of operating against even second-rate military powers."
SpaceIL Won't Attempt Another Moon Landing, Will Seek a Greater Challenge - Eytan Halon (Jerusalem Post)
The team behind the Beresheet spacecraft will not be reattempting its mission to land on the Moon, SpaceIL announced Tuesday.
SpaceIL decided that landing on the Moon was "not a sufficiently great challenge" and would search for a new challenge.
Survey: More than Half of Arab World's Young Adults Want to Leave - Julia Altmann (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
The BBC News Arabic Survey found that 52% of respondents aged 18-29 in 10 countries and the Palestinian territories said they were considering emigrating to another country, including almost half the population in Jordan.
Israeli Companies Boosted New York Economy by $30 Billion in 2018 - Eytan Halon (Jerusalem Post)
Israeli-founded companies operating in New York directly contributed $18.6 billion in revenue in 2018, a new study by the New York-Israel Business Alliance has revealed.
The economic benefit by 506 Israeli companies surges to $33.8 billion, when including spending on local goods and services.
The companies directly employ 24,850 New York residents and indirectly employed a further 27,502 based on additional demand for locally-sourced goods and services.
Israel Issues First 50-Year Bonds for $568 Million (Reuters)
Israel has issued its first 50-year bonds in a deal worth 500 million euros ($568 million) with a single institutional investor, one of the largest pension funds in Europe, the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem said Thursday.
Israel Offers Cutting-Edge Agricultural Innovation - Eytan Halon (Jerusalem Post)
Representatives from over 40 countries arrived in Israel this week for Agriisrael 4.0, a four-day conference showcasing Israel's hi-tech prowess in agriculture.
Tevel Aerobotics Technologies is currently testing its fleet of autonomous airborne robots for fruit harvesting. Tevel's fleet of drones uses artificial intelligence vision algorithms, orchard mapping and data, and balancing and maneuvering algorithms to autonomously pick apples and oranges from trees at the right time.
BeeHero utilizes real-time beehive data and pollination intelligence to predict beehive disorders in real-time and mitigate the growing problem of colony collapse. Enabling beekeepers to make adjustments to ensure hive well-being, the company says, enables pollinators to increase yields by 30% on average.
Manna Irrigation Intelligence uses satellite imagery, hyper-local weather forecasts, and self-developed crop models to provide growers with accurate valve-specific recommendations regarding when and how much to irrigate.
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