fsockopen(): unable to connect to ssl://query.yahooapis.com:443 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known)

.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Tuesday, 1 September 2020):
"I welcome the first understandings that have been signed in Abu Dhabi. These understandings will assist us in advancing mutual investments and widespread cooperation. We will soon announce additional agreements in aviation, tourism, trade and others."
Earlier today, Prime Minister's Office Acting Director General Ronen Peretz and United Arab Emirates Central Bank Governor Abdulhamid Saeed signed the first protocol in banking and finances.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, the Finance Ministry and the relevant financial regulators in Israel have reached the following understandings:
A joint Israel-UAE committee will be established to advance cooperation in finances and investments. To this end, the sides will discuss advancing cooperation in financial services and lowering financial impediments to making investments between the countries and promoting joint investments in the capital markets.
The sides will also discuss advancing cooperation in banking services and payments regulations.
The sides will establish special working groups in order to create the conditions for joint investments that meet international standards including in the struggle against money laundering and financing terrorism.
​Photo : PMO Acting Director General Ronen Peretz (seated, left) and United Arab Emirates Central Bank Governor Abdulhamid Saeed (seated, right) at the signing ceremony.
Copyright: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Announcement on the Peace Treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates


PM Netanyahu: This is the greatest advancement toward peace between Israel and the Arab world in the last 26 years and it marks the third formal peace between Israel and an Arab nation.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Thursday, 13 August 2020):

"Today we usher in a new era of peace between Israel and the Arab world.

I just came from an historic virtual conference between myself, President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. We announced the establishment of a full and formal peace between Israel and the UAE. It includes the mutual opening of embassies, direct flights and many, many other bilateral agreements.

This is the greatest advancement toward peace between Israel and the Arab world in the last 26 years and it marks the third formal peace between Israel and an Arab nation.

In 1979, Prime Minister Menachem Begin made peace with Egypt. In 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a peace treaty with Jordan. And today, I am honored to announce a formal peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates. I believe that there is a good chance that we will soon see more Arab countries join this expanding circle of peace.

I want to thank President Trump for his critical help in brokering this historic accord. And I want to thank him for his revolutionary Vision for Peace, which is the most realistic and important formula for peace in the region. President Trump’s Middle East plan served as a basis for today’s historic peace announcement.

Israel and the UAE are two of the most advanced countries in the world.

Together, we will transform the region and forge an even better future for our people. This is a future of peace, a future of security and a future of prosperity.

I've always believed that we could establish peace with the Arab world and I have been working towards that lofty goal for decades. You may not know it, but I've been doing it all the time in meetings that are publicized and in many that are not. In Washington, in the Middle East, in daylight and in nighttime.

In recent years, Israel under my leadership has made advancements in ties with such countries as Sudan, Oman, Bahrain and other nations in the Gulf. I have reason to be very optimistic that today’s announcement with the UAE will be followed by more Arab nations joining our region's circle of peace.

And to the people of Abu Dhabi, and its leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, I say Salaam alaikum. Shalom Aleichem. Peace unto thee. Peace unto all of us.״

Photo credit: Koby Gideon (GPO)






The Israel Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries Have Successfully Launched the "Ofek 16" Satellite – Which Has Begun its Orbit in Space


Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "This is another extraordinary achievement for the defense establishment, for the defense industries as a whole, and for Israel Aerospace Industries in particular."

The Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have successfully launched the "Ofek 16" reconnaissance satellite into space, today (06.07.2020) at 4:00 AM. The launch was performed from a launch site based in central Israel, using a "Shavit" launcher.

The satellite began to orbit around earth and to transmit data, in accordance with original launch plans. IMoD and IAI engineers have started a series of pre-planned tests to determine the propriety and performance level of the satellite before it begins its full operational activities.

Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "The successful launch of the 'Ofek 16' satellite overnight is yet another extraordinary achievement for the defense establishment, for the defense industries as a whole, and for Israel Aerospace Industries in particular. Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the State of Israel. The fact that Israel is one of the 13 countries in the world with satellite launching capabilities is not a given, and was made possible by the people who have been investing in these systems and advancing breakthrough capabilities over the years. We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel's capabilities on every front, in every place." 

"Ofek 16" is an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities. Its development was enabled by the great experience gained by the defense establishment in the production of earlier satellites in the Ofek series, which have been produced and launched since the year 1988. The satellite was launched into space using the "Shavit" launcher.

The Space Administration in IMoD has led the development and production of the satellite and its launcher. IAI is the prime contractor, having assigned the program to its Systems, Missiles and Space Group together with the MLM Division, which is responsible for the development of the launcher. Elbit Systems is responsible for the development and production of the satellite's advanced camera and payload. The launch engines were developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Tomer, a government-owned company. Additional companies have participated in the program, including Rokar and Cielo.

The Director of Security for the Defense Establishment oversaw the security arrangements of the program. Lastly, various IDF officials, primarily from the Intelligence Corps and Air Force have also been deeply involved in the satellite development process. Once the satellite is deemed fully operational, the Ministry of Defense will deliver responsibilities to the IDF's '9900' Intelligence Unit.


The Space Program of the Israel Ministry of Defense: Over 30 Years of "Defense in Space"


The Israel Ministry of Defense invests hundreds of millions of shekels every year in developing the space and satellite industries. The multi-year space program led by the Israel Ministry of Defense advances the strategic capabilities of the State of Israel, while strengthening Israeli high-tech and creating vast job opportunities. 

The first Israeli satellite (Ofek 1), was launched in the year 1988. In the years following this success, the Ministry of Defense has allocated significant budgets in the field of satellite development. 

The satellite program significantly enhances the intelligence capabilities of the State of Israel, due to the groundbreaking technology and capabilities developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and additional partner industries. 

The satellite industry in Israel and around the world, fuels the production of new, advanced technology.  Investment in this field produces first and foremost, strategic defense systems, but also technological innovation and solutions that assist industries in coping with various technological obstacles. This is because technology in the field of satellites must constantly push boundaries – combining advanced programing, algorithms, engineering, and systems that must persevere in the challenging conditions that space launches and space operations include (issues surrounding durability, strength versus weight, and more). 

The State of Israel was the seventh country in the world to achieve full space capabilities (launching satellites), and today, Israel is one of 13 countries in the world with such capabilities, alongside the United States, Italy, France, Japan, India, the U.K., Ukraine, China, Russia, Iran, North and South Korea. 


The investment of the State of Israel in space technology is considered essential and strategic for intelligence purposes. This is a multi-year investment, which requires a multitude of resources, consistency, and professionalism. The goal is to ensure that the Israeli satellite program will remain at the forefront of technological capabilities and will continue to produce advanced satellites, which will maintain Israel's intelligence and technological superiority. 

The investment of the Ministry of Defense in the field of space technology contributes to the advanced capabilities of the State of Israel.  At the same time, it also contributes to the integration of advanced technology and capabilities in civilian industries and the high-tech sector. 











 The Israeli delegation, led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), will conduct a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of a number of rapid diagnostic solutions. 


Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz: "The entire Ministry of Defense has been mobilized to address the Corona crisis. We hope that the research and development led by the DDR&D together with our excellent industries and academic institutions, will lead to a breakthrough that will change the way we diagnose and fight the virus, while giving the boost necessary to 'restart' our economy." 

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi: "I see great importance in cooperating with India in the fight against Corona. This operation conveys a message of friendship and solidarity with India. It also provides a unique opportunity for scientific and technological cooperation that can assist Israel, India and the world in coping both with the pandemic and with the economic crisis that came with it." 


In the coming weeks, the Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Health will lead an unprecedented operation in the fight against the Corona virus, in cooperation with the Indian Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser. A senior DDR&D delegation will travel to India to conduct the final stages of testing of advanced technologies for the rapid diagnosis of the Corona virus.

Israel's Ambassador to India, Dr. Ron Malka will board the flight, which will carry cutting-edge equipment donated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the private sector. This delivery aims to assist India in dealing with the Corona crisis, and includes ventilators – exported to India following an exceptional approval. 


Since the start of the pandemic, the DDR&D has tested dozens of diagnostic technologies. Some of them have matured and passed initial trials in Israel, however in order to complete testing and prove their effectiveness, these must be tested on a wide range of patients. 

The cooperation between Israel and India will enable the delegation and its Indian counterparts, to collect tens of thousands of samples in just ten days, and analyze them using computer systems based on artificial intelligence. This massive sampling will shorten processes and advance the approval of effective technology. All tests will be validated using PCR tests.

In recent years, Israel-India relations have developed into a strategic partnership, and since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the two countries have agreed to provide mutual assistance and to cooperate in areas of research. For the purpose of this specific activity, the Government of India has designated a local team of around 100 professionals, as well as a team dedicated to the construction of testing sites that will be operated jointly by the Israeli and Indian delegations.  

The four tech systems that will be tested are: voice test, breathalyzer test based on terra-hertz waves, isothermal test, and polyamino acids test. What they all have in common is the ability to detect the presence of the virus in the body quickly- usually within minutes. Developing diagnostic capabilities is a goal for the State of Israel and of many additional countries around the world. It is the most effective way to cut off 'chains of infection', prevent prolonged quarantine and enable the reopening of the global economy.

The Israeli delegation consists of 20 individuals (IMoD, IDF, Ministry of Health and representatives of relevant industries), and is led by Ambassador Ron Malka, and the Defense Attaché in India, Col. Assaf Meller. On the medical side, the delegation is led by Prof. Nati Keller, an infectious diseases specialist from Sheba Medical Center, and Itai Gordon, Head of the Innovation Department at the Ministry of Health. In addition to the DDR&D team, the delegation also includes engineers and other professionals from the companies involved in the development of the various diagnostic technologies.  


Background Information: Technology to be Tested in India


Voice Test:  This online voice test is based on artificial intelligence. The test analyzes the recording of a human voice and aims to identify changes in the patient's voice and/or deterioration in the condition of his/her respiratory system.  


Breathalyzer test - detection based on terra-hertz waves:  As part of an R&D program, officials developed a system of detecting the virus using THZ waves. The patient must breathe into a sterile sampling kit, after which his/her sample is analyzed using artificial intelligence. 

Isothermal testing: This is a biochemical testing method that enables the detection of the virus in a saliva sample. An inexpensive sample kit has been developed, which detects the presence of the virus with the help of a chemical reaction that takes place once the content is heated at about 60 degrees Celsius. The kit is suitable for at-home use and produces a result within 30 minutes.

Testing using Polyamino acids This is a biochemical method that enables the detection of Corona virus proteins collected in a saliva sample. Using the appropriate instrumentation, a sample may be analyzed in several minutes.









The global reaction to Covid-19 has forced changes in all aspects of life, from diplomacy to education. But every challenge is an opportunity. On June 29, 2020, as the academic year ground to a halt for most elementary school students in Israel, some young leaders were practicing their diplomatic schools in a historic Zoom conference. The Young Ambassadors ZoomMUN, on Monday morning June 29, marked the first ever online MUN conference for elementary school students in Israeli history, featuring 15 intrepid young leaders from the Young Ambassador leadership program in Petah Tiqva.

The conference theme was “Racism: Global and Local Challenges and Solutions”. Representing countries such as Australia, China, Israel, New Zealand, and Turkey, the young delegates addressed various forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination impacting communities around the world, with their socio-economic and personal impacts. 

After Mrs. Rachel Amrani, the Director of the Young Ambassadors school gave opening remarks, the delegates began with their own opening statements. Several hours of moderated and unmoderated caucuses followed, until the students had a written text to present which included a number of concrete policy suggestions for how to effectively address the challenges of racism. 

After an intense three hours of fruitful debate, the delegates voted on and passed these suggestions as their committee resolution. The final resolution included components calling for educational games for youth, workshops for adults, increased gun control, and stronger deterrence against racism. Koren Polak, representing Belgium, and Liya Roitman, representing India, were chosen Outstanding Delegates, and Rotem Getraide, representing Bulgaria, received the Best Delegate award.

Alma Plot (India), a fifth-grader from Bar Lev elementary school told Diplomacy.co.il that that conference was “very interesting, and I learned many new things”, and that she enjoyed interacting with her peers. Yonatan Tavor (United Kingdom) added that he had especially enjoyed the discourse with students with  different perspectives.

Director of the School of Young Ambassadors Mrs. Rachel Amani explained that the MUN project is just one pillar of the diverse activities of the Municipality of Petah Tikva for outstanding students. It reflects the aspiration of the Municipality of Petah Tikva for excellence in education, and to offer a global, critical-reasoning focused education paradigm to broaden the horizons of tomorrow's leaders.


During the year the Chen School for Young Ambassadors offers a wide variety of frontal lectures, simulations and workshops for youth leadership and empowerment. In the past few months, many of these programs have been moved online to accommodate Ministry of Health requirements.

This summer the Young Ambassadors school will be offering a special leadership module “diplomatic summer camp” for grades 5-7, including courses in international relations, leadership, civics, and global problem-solving. For more information on this or the other youth empowerment programs, please contact the Young Ambassadors school at: 03-6137554.

Steven Aiello
Photos by Debate for Peace