Intel to purchase Mobileye in largest Israeli high-tech acquisition to date

Deal worth $15.3 billion; Intel to move its automotive driving division to Israel- a major boost to Israel’s economy and standing as the high-tech and start-up center of the world

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Intel Corp announced it is buying Israel’s Mobileye, the autonomous vehicle technology company, in the largest acquisition of an Israeli high-tech company to date.

The major deal, worth over $15 billion, is the latest massive acquisition of Israeli technology by foreign investors. Intel will also announce that it will be moving its automotive driving division to Israel sometime later this year to be managed by Mobileye’s CTO and co-founder, Amnon Shashua.

Mobileye and Intel have been working together since 2016 and Intel currently employs over 10,000 in its Israel branches.

Mobileye has been a world leading innovators of automotive technologies, including sensor fusion, advanced automobile camera tech, the Mobileye mono-camera, and mapping technologies. The company has been universally leading in driving safety with its Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keeping Intelligence.

It is best known for its Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and Full Autonomous Vehicles, the company working with Intel in collaboration with BMW since 2016 to produce and test the world’s first fully self-driving vehicles later this year. Mobileye is expected to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by 2021.

In a statement released by Intel CEO Brian Kraznich on the recent deal, he stated that the acquisition would lead to transformative “growth towards autonomous driving”, stating, “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving… Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers,” and that “together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers. We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative. It will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers.”

He stated on the “pooling together” of both companies that capabilities that “we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centers and high-performance computing platforms. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry.”

Intel “estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.”

Mobileye was created in Jerusalem in 1999, its ADAS technology deployed in over 15 million vehicles to date. The deal is expected to be finalized in roughly nine months and will be a major boost to Israel’s economy with the deployment of Intel’s automotive driving division to Israel.

Israel’s Amos-7 communications satellite begins operating

Amos-7 to replace Amos-2 and Amos-5; Spacecom announces purchase of Amos-17, the “catalyst for Spacecom’s growth plans over the next decade.”

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Israel’s Space Communications, Spacecom, successfully began operating its latest communications satellite, Amos-7, announcing it would purchase an additional satellite from Boeing Satellite Systems International in the near future.

Amos-7 will replace the Amos-2 that was launched in 2003 as well as the Amos-5 that was launched in 2011, Spacecom losing contact with the satellite due to power failure in 2015.

Amos-7 is the latest satellite success following the failure of Amos-6 when the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launcher exploded during a fueling test in Florida in September of 2016.

Spacecom stated that the new satellite will expand and enhance the array of communications, Senior Vice President of Sales, Jacob Keret, stating “Amos-7 creates a stronger presence… Adding further redundancy to our system, the satellite is a key element in expanding our multi-regional growth patterns and enhancing the array of communications – broadcast, broadband and data – that we can provide.”

The new communications satellite will provide services for the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia and will join the Amos-3 and Amos-4, the company releasing the statement “Co-located with Amos-3, Amos-7 is replacing the Amos-2 satellite that is reaching the end of life after servicing customers for over 13 years.”

The satellite has a life expectancy of 15 years and “supports Ku-band steerable and fixed beams, delivering the capacity and frequencies required for a range of advanced broadcast and broadband services” that will provide Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV, Video distribution to cable head-ends, VSAT communications and Broadband Internet.

Spacecom announced it would purchased a new satellite, Amos-17, from Boeing Satellite Systems International at $161 million. The Amos-17 is designed to operate for 15 years and will be a “catalyst for Spacecom’s growth plans over the next decade.”

Twelfth Dead Sea Scrolls Cave discovered west of Qumran

Discovery announced on Wednesday; 12th cave did not contain scrolls as with previous discoveries; Excavation to continue with more “significant discoveries” in coming days

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Archeologists announced on Wednesday the discovery of a twelfth Dead Sea Scroll Cave in Qumran in southern Israel.

Archeologists and researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem confirmed the discovery of the cave west of Qumran from part of an excavation that began in December. The Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in conjunction with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem carried out the excavation for the past two months.

The archeologists found pieces of parchment dating to the first century AD, as well as a leather strap that was used to bind the scrolls. Jars used to store the scrolls, as well as several pieces of clothe were also found during the excavation.

Head of the excavation from the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology Oren Gutfeld confirmed the cave’s discovery stating “Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea Scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the twelfth cave,” adding that maybe there are even more caves not yet discovered.”

He confirmed the finding of “parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing,” explaining that the findings indicate “beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen.” He stated “The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more.”

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As with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves beginning from 1947, the twelfth discovered cave was found with no scrolls and obvious signs of thievery from pickaxes, consistent with previous cave discoveries.

The first stolen scrolls were found in the 1947 by Israeli archeologists on the black market with over 850 scrolls found to date, many of which are on display Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem as well as at the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The scrolls were written between 150 BC to 70 AD, most of the scrolls found dating to the Second Temple period. The scrolls include both Biblical and non-Biblical texts, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and some in Greek. Around 230 scrolls contain Biblical text, including 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms.

The excavation will continue, the archeologists announcing several other “significant discoveries” to be announced in the coming days.

 

 

2,000 year-old coin from Maccabean Revolt discovered in Jerusalem

Coin discovered at Tower of David just days before Hanukah celebrations; Second coin discovered in past two weeks; Jerusalem’s “Pilgrims’ Road” to reopen for Hanukkah celebrations

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A 2,000-year old bronze coin dating back to the time of the Maccabean revolt was discovered in Jerusalem. The find comes just ahead of the Jewish celebration of Hanukah which will begin this coming Saturday through next Sunday.

The coin was discovered during an archeological dig at the Tower of David in Jerusalem. The coin depicts the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes who decreed the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Archeologists reported that coins from this era were minted in Acre (Ptolemais) between 172 and 168 BC.

The Maccabean Revolt took place between 167 and 160 BC, a Jewish rebellion to the Seleucid Empire led by Judah Maccabee. The story of the Revolt is remembered and celebrated by the Jewish people during the “Festival of Lights”- Hanukkah.

Last week there was a discovery of a 1,950-year old coin that was found in the City of David in Jerusalem, the coin also dating back to a Jewish revolt- that of the revolts against the Romans. The discovery was made on the “Pilgrim’s Road”- a road that was used historically by Jews to make ritual sacrifices in the Temple.

The coin depicts a grape leaf on one-side with the words “Free Zion” with the opposite side’s inscription reading “Two years to the Great Revolt”. The coin dates back to 67 A.D. about three years before the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.

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Both coins discovery come just as Jerusalem is set to unveil the grand reopening of “Pilgrims’ Road” during this year’s Hanukah celebrations. Israel’s Ministry of Culture in coordination with the Israel Antiquities Authority will celebrate 50 years since the liberation of Jerusalem from Jordan, as well as ancient Jewish history on the historic which will be open again the Jewish people.

 

UN gives IDF emergency medical response team highest rank globally

WHO gives Israel number 1 rank in global emergency medical response team; Israel first state to be ranked “Type 3” since creation of criteria in 2013

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The United Nations World Health Organization has ranked Israel’s IDF emergency medical response team as the world leader in emergency medicine globally.

The IDF announced the ranking on Sunday, Israel’s IDF field hospital receiving the first “Type 3” classification for its field hospital and medical response team by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization gives classification types to humanitarian groups that respond to foreign natural disasters and humanitarian missions. Ranks are given from 1-3, 3 being the highest. Israel received a “Type 3 PLUS” for reaching all of the criteria plus additional technology as well as the Jewish states’ ongoing efforts and history of being a global first responder to natural disaster and humanitarian relief worldwide.

Head of Israel’s IDF field hospital, Lt. Col. Dr. Ofer Merin stated on the recognition “It was a great privilege to hear from the WHO, which is part of the United Nations, saying that other countries should come and learn from Israel first of all how to operate within the right ethical values and the right moral values in disaster areas. This is a great honor for Israel, for the IDF, and of course for the medical corps of the IDF.”

The IDF, Magen David Adom, Mashav, IsrAID, the Fast Israeli Rescue and Search Team and several independent groups and individuals contribute to Israel’s global humanitarian efforts and missions, most recently and consistently in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and victims of the Syrian civil war. The IDF constructed a military-field hospital close to the border with Syria where hundreds have been treated, many in Israel hospitals, their identities hidden, as they would be killed for entering Israel.

Israel has sent delegations and missions to Turkey, Greece, Nepal, Haiti, the Philippines, India, Turkey, Armenia, New Guinea and El Salvador- just to name a few of their efforts. Israel is consistently the first responder to natural disaster relief, many missions and efforts also the longest remaining missions and delegations to remain in countries affected by natural disasters.

 

Ancient papyrus scroll found with earliest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem

Artifact dated to 7th century released to public; Scroll was invoice from Na’arat to Jerusalem, refers to Jewish capital as “Yerushalima”

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Archeologists from the Israel Antiquity Authority (IAA) released the oldest known extra-biblical artifact to mention Jerusalem on Wednesday. The artifact, a fragment of parchment, dates back between 2,500-2,800 years to the First Temple Era from around the seventh century BC.

The scroll parchment, made from papyrus, is an ancient invoice from the Kingdom of Judah. The invoice is from a shipping of jars of wine from Na’arat to Jerusalem and refers to Jerusalem as “Yerushalima”.

It was found by the IAA four years ago during an operation carried out on antiquities robbers. The artifact is not only significant for its mention of Jerusalem, but also in that the document survived thousands of years in the Judean desert.

According to Dr. Klein, deputy of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, “The document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah,” stated Klein. “It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the seventh century B.C. According to the Bible, the kings Menashe, Amon or Josiah ruled in Jerusalem at this time; however, it is not possible to know for certain which of the kings of Jerusalem was the recipient of the shipment of wine.”

The release comes amidst the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s second resolution passed denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount. Following it’s second anti-Israel resolution passed Wednesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu referred to this artifact while addressing UNESCO.

He stated “This was a document or receipt that was sent over 2,700 years ago from Na’arah, near Jerusalem, and it says in ancient Hebrew, and this is the critical word, but you can see it in Hebrew ‘From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem’. Here is a letter from the past to UNESCO. It is written Yerushalima. It explains – in Hebrew – our connection to Jerusalem and the centrality of Jerusalem. A servant of the king, certainly a King of Judah. It is from over 2,700 years ago – Jerusalem. In neither Arabic, Aramaic, Greek nor Latin – in Hebrew.”

Israel’s 13th Ambassador to Egypt

Govrin officially gives credence to Egyptian President in Cairo, welcomed by Israel’s national anthem amidst growing diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Egypt

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David Govrin, Israel’s recently appointed Ambassador to Egypt, officially presented his credentials to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a ceremony in Cairo on Wednesday.

Govrin was welcomed to his meeting by an Egyptian military band playing Israel’s national anthem “HaTikva” (The Hope) ahead of his official address to President al-Sisi, which he did in Arabic. He took part in a ceremony with eight other states presenting their new ambassadors to Egyptian Authorities.

Following the ceremony, Govrin stated that he “feels very proud to be appointed to this position in Egypt, the mother of the world, a land of cultures and ancient history. I have no doubt that the relations between Egypt and Israel are vital and central to achieve the long-awaited peace and stability in the region in general.”

Govrin was appointed in early 2016 and began his term as the 13th Israeli Ambassador to Egypt in July, replacing Ambassador Haim Koren. Ahead of his post in Egypt, he served as Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director of the Jordan Department in Jerusalem.

Govrin was part of several diplomatic missions in Egypt given his credentials and fluency in Arabic. His first post as a diplomat was in Egypt in 1994 where he served as first secretary at Israel’s Embassy in Cairo. He then served as a political advisor for the Israel in the United Nations. He has served as a diplomat for Israel since 1989.

Speaking entirely in Arabic, Govrin gave a detailed description of his love for Egypt and history with the state. (See below)

His appointment comes during a period of significantly improved relations between Israel and Egypt. Around the same period he was appointed, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem, the first visit by an Egyptian official to the State of Israel in over nine years.