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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
February 17, 2022
Egyptian President Greets Israeli Minister in Cairo - Sam Sokol (Ha'aretz)
In a sign of warming relations between his country and Israel, a smiling Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi left multiple delegates waiting as he walked the length of a conference hall in Cairo on Monday to personally greet Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, who uses a wheelchair.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted, "President al-Sisi, you've touched us all."
See also Israeli Minister Describes President Sisi's Gesture (Algemeiner)
After Egyptian President el-Sisi crossed a large conference room in order to greet Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, she told N12 news, "I was very surprised that he came straight to me and it was very important to him to welcome me."
Sisi "told me he was very happy that I came to the conference. You have to understand that we're talking about an energy conference that has been held for five years and never had Israeli representation."
Australia to List Hamas as Terror Group - Andrew Brown (7News-Australia)
Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Thursday that the government will list the entirety of Hamas as a banned terrorist organization.
"It will replace the current listing of Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades," she said.
James Paterson, chair of the parliamentary committee on intelligence and security, said, "Any Australian supporting Hamas could be committing a serious crime, a powerful deterrent to make Australia safer."
The "government cannot and will not turn a blind eye to the campaign of violent terror against innocent civilians, which is so evidently organized, financed and authorized by Hamas' leadership."
See also Israel Commends Australia's Decision to Ban Hamas - Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel Seizes NIS103 Million in Hamas Terror Funds - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
Israel has seized NIS103 million in Hamas terrorism funds, Sagi Volkovitz, an official at the Defense Ministry's National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing, said Tuesday.
Hamas Terrorist Dies in Gaza Tunnel Collapse (Times of Israel)
Hamas terrorist Muhammad Ashraf Abed, 24, was "martyred after the collapse of a resistance tunnel" in Gaza on Wednesday, the group said.
Several Hamas terrorists have died in recent months while working inside tunnels, which are primarily built in sand, due to heavy rains that have led to their collapse.
Defendant Pleads Guilty in Cyprus Terror Plot Against Israelis - Nick Theodoulou (Cyprus Mail)
An unnamed medical student, 21, pleaded guilty on Monday in Nicosia to two charges in a terrorism plot in which Israelis were to be assassinated in Cyprus as part of an Iranian plot. Six foreign nationals were arrested in connection with the case.
Daily Politis reported that Orhan Asadov, 38, an Azeri found at a checkpoint with a pistol with a suppressor and ammunition, said he was paid 40,000 euros by a person of Arab origin to identify Israeli targets.
Muzzafar Abbas, 27, a Pakistani, said he was recruited by a Syrian and led police to a second pistol buried near his residence. Another weapon was found in October hidden behind an air-conditioning unit at a hotel where Asadov had stayed.
Dutch Universities Pause Compliance with Request for Information on Ties with Jewish, Israeli Groups - Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)
14 Dutch universities announced Tuesday they are suspending their compliance with a freedom of information query from a pro-Palestinian organization regarding their ties with Israeli and Jewish entities.
The query was initiated by The Rights Forum, founded by Dries van Agt, a former prime minister, who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, spoke at a rally in Rotterdam that featured a Hamas leader, and claimed that Israelis are routinely poisoning Palestinians.
As the U.S. Pulls Back from the Mideast, China Leans In - Ben Hubbard (New York Times)
As the U.S., fatigued by decades of war, seeks to limit its involvement in the Middle East, China is deepening its ties across the region.
States there are increasingly looking to China to invest in their infrastructure and cooperate on technology and security.
Arab leaders appreciate that China - which touts the virtue of "noninterference" in other countries' affairs - won't get involved in their domestic politics. And each side can count on the other to overlook its human rights abuses.
China's interest in the Middle East has long been rooted in its need for oil. With the world's second largest economy, it buys nearly half of its crude from Arab states, with Saudi Arabia topping the list.
Despite their majority-Muslim populations, almost no Arab states have publicly criticized China's forced internment and indoctrination of its Muslim Uyghur minority. Some Arab states have even deported Uyghurs to China.
IDF Drills for War with Hizbullah - Anna Ahronheim (Jerusalem Post)
IDF paratroopers held a week-long drill simulating war on the northern front against Hizbullah, simulating defending Israeli communities along the border from infiltrations by Hizbullah's Radwan forces, as well as crossing into Lebanon to fight deep behind enemy lines.
Combat engineers, tank units, and the Israel Air Force took part in the exercise.
U.S. Navy Eyes Israeli Robot Boats - Dan Williams (Reuters)
The U.S. Navy is considering adding unmanned Israeli boats to its joint Middle East operations, a U.S. official said.
The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet was interested in Israeli-made surface drones as possible complements to flying and underwater drones.
A fleet commander had in recent weeks visited Haifa to study the surface drones.
Hamas TV Series Glorifies Fight Against Israel - Wafaa Shurafa (AP-Washington Post)
For the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, Hamas has produced a 30-episode TV series, "Fist of the Free," depicting its fighters scrambling out of a tunnel and attacking an Israeli tank in broad daylight.
The storyline centers on a real-life Israeli raid in Gaza in 2018. After an undercover unit aroused suspicions, a gun battle ensued in which seven Hamas fighters and an Israeli commander were killed.
At the same time, Israel successfully evacuated 16 undercover agents.
Lebanon Again Bans Palestinian Professionals from Work - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
Lebanon's State Shura Council decided in February to reverse an order issued in December allowing Palestinian refugees to work in trade-union regulated professions, such as law, engineering and medicine.
Israeli Camera Sees Through Walls at 300 Feet (i24News)
A new camera developed in Israel can see through walls from a distance of 300 feet. In case of a terrorist attack or kidnapping, it can see inside a room if there are people inside, how many, and if they are on the move.
"It's a tactical tool that gives an exceptional operational advantage to military forces, police, and rescuers," said Amir Beeri, managing director and founder of Camero.
Israel's Economy Grew 8 Percent in 2021 - Guy Ben Simon (Globes)
Israel's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 8.1% in 2021, after shrinking by 2.2% in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday.
In 2021, GDP per capita grew by 6.3% after shrinking by 3.9% in 2020. GDP per capita rose by an average of 5% in OECD countries in 2021.
Israel's GDP grew 16.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021, after growing at only 2.4% in the third quarter.
Intel to Buy Israel's Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 Billion - Ian King (Bloomberg)
Intel Corp. agreed to acquire Israel's Tower Semiconductor Ltd. for $5.4 billion, it was announced Tuesday.
Tower makes power management chips, image sensors and a variety of other semiconductors, while Intel's factories have historically produced only its own designs.
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Amnesty International's Obsessive Fixation with Israel - Amb. Alan Baker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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