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Extensive Defense Export Agreement to be Signed between Israel and Slovakia

The Israel Ministry of Defense will deliver 17 radar systems produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to the Slovak Ministry of Defense in an agreement that amounts to approximately 150 million.

Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "As I told the Slovak Minister of Defense during our discussion, Israel’s defense industry is at the forefront of global technology and development and produces excellent operational and military capabilities. This agreement reflects the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, as well as Israel’s strengthening relations and cooperation with NATO countries.”


The Slovak government approved the recommendation made by the Slovak Ministry of Defense to procure 17 radar systems manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The agreement, led by the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), in the Israel Ministry of Defense, includes the transfer of technology and knowledge from Israel to Slovakia as well as industrial cooperation. The radar components will be manufactured in collaboration with defense industries in Slovakia, under the professional guidance of IAI and the Ministry of Defense.

The Israeli radar systems will be interoperable with NATO defense mechanisms. In recent years, similar systems have been incorporated into the command and control systems of additional countries in the NATO alliance.

The flagship MMR Radar manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) subsidiary, ELTA systems, is combat proven and has extensive operational experience in Israel and around the world. The radar detects airborne threats, classifies them, calculates their threat level and provides essential data that enables systems to neutralize multiple threats simultaneously.

Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: "As I told the Slovak Minister of Defense during our discussion, Israel’s defense industry is at the forefront of global technology and development and produces excellent operational and military capabilities. I congratulate the employees of the Israel Ministry of Defense and IAI on another significant achievement, which reflects the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, as well as Israel’s strengthening relations and cooperation with NATO countries. Under my leadership, the defense establishment will continue to promote technology procurement and development agreements, which are part of the security concept of the State of Israel and are particularly important for Israeli resilience at this time due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SIBAT Director, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas: "The Slovak government's choice to equip its forces with Israeli radar systems is another significant step in strengthening defense relations between our countries. The choice is also indicative of the excellent capabilities of Israel’s defense industry, which provides advanced solutions to a vast range of ever-evolving threats. We thank our Slovakian partners and look forward to continuing exchanges of information and technology, further expanding our partnership.”

IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, Yoav Turgeman: “We are honored to be the Slovakian government's choice and to incorporate IAI’s MMR Radar into their air defense solution, and we thank the Israel Ministry of Defense for the cooperation. The MMR leverages state-of-the-art technologies to provide a dependable picture of the air and awareness of the situation at hand. Approximately 130 MMRs have been delivered to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, and are already operational in the United States and Canada, in addition to Israel. We are confident this is the best radar system to enable the Slovakian Air Force to confront a wide range of aerial threats and we look forward to further cooperation."


Photo  Israel Ministry of Defense





.Communicated by the Prime Minister's Office, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry

Pursuant to the Cabinet decision of Tuesday evening, 5 January 2021, on a tight lockdown to take effect at 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), the Cabinet, yesterday evening (Wednesday, 6 January 2021), in a conference call, approved the Health Ministry regulations, which are in addition to those regulations that are already in effect.

The new regulations and restrictions shall be in effect from 24:00 this evening (Thursday, 7 January 2021), until Thursday, 21 January 2021.

Restricted activity – Restriction of exceptions to the prohibition on leaving one's place of residence:

1. Restriction of gatherings to up to five people in a closed area and up to ten people in an open area (with exceptions for weddings, circumcisions and funerals, that will remain according to the existing rule – ten people in a closed space and 20 in an open space).

2. Restriction of permission to fly from Israel to those who purchased flight tickets starting from the taking effect of the regulations, except for reasons detailed in the regulations or with approval from the Transportation Ministry Director General.

3. Restriction of professional sports activity so that venues for training for premier league games may not be operated except for training only.

4. Cancellation of permission to leave a residence for activity to counter isolation for senior citizens (except for essential social work activity).


1. There is a prohibition on opening educational institutions to learners and employees except for special education and exceptions determined by law.

2. Closed boarding institutions for up to 30 days without the possibility of readmitting pupils who have left the institution.


1. Employees may not enter their places of work except for places of work for which exceptions have been made including those that provide essential and vital services and those engaged in construction or infrastructure work.

2. All employers shall be entitled to allow employees to go to their place work if their presence is necessary for its maintenance or continued functioning. This includes necessary repairs, security, deliveries, payment of wages, etc. Specific instructions were determined for enterprises with special permission to employ workers during hours of rest, security industries, government ministries, local councils, religious councils and institutions of higher education.

3. Lawyers have been added to the list of essential places of work under the regulations in instances where they are representing or preparing to represent clients in court or in other institutions, or are providing essential services to clients that will not admit delay and cannot be performed digitally. Included in the foregoing are employees of the Central Elections Committee and regional elections committees who are working on the upcoming Knesset elections.

4. Employers who meet the various conditions and continue to operate will do so under the purple badge standard.

* A list of work sectors for which exceptions have been made will be published on the Finance Ministry website.


Occupancy on public transportation will be reduced to 50% of capacity (including on buses)

Participation in political party primary elections

1. Person voting in political party primary elections may leave their residences to do so. The foregoing includes candidates and service providers on behalf of candidates or parties, in order to prepare for Knesset and political party primary elections.

2. Polling places for political party primary elections may be operated.

3. People entering polling place locations will not be asked about the existence of symptoms that do not require quarantine so as not to impair their right to vote because of these symptoms. There will be no questioning of those arriving at designated polling places for people under quarantine.


Reminder of currently existing restrictions that are also valid during the aforementioned 14-day lockdown:

1. Restrictions on going out from one's place of residence beyond 1,000 meters, apart from exceptions such as going out to be vaccinated, receive medical treatment or social work care, attend a demonstration or legal proceeding, do individual exercise (without use of a vehicle), transferring a minor between separated parents, going to a permitted place of work or to permitted educational activity, or going out to attend a funeral, wedding or circumcision (subject to the restrictions on gatherings).

Fine for violation: NIS 500.

2. A prohibition on leaving one's place of residence in order to be present in another person's place of residence.

3. Closure of public and commercial places except for essential stores: Food, hygiene, optical, pharmacies, and electric products and products that are necessary for essential home repairs.

4. Closure of guest units and b&b's, zoos, safari parks and nature reserves, national parks, national and commemorative sites, places for giving non-medical treatment including beauty and cosmetics treatment, places for giving complementary medical treatment, drive-in cinemas, malls, markets and museums. The option of opening an eating establishment for pick-up service is cancelled.

5. Practical driving lessons are cancelled; organizing – or participating in – an organized hike is prohibited.

6. Take-away service is prohibited; delivery service is permitted.


Photo Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (archive). Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom.






.The joint IDF-MFA aid delegation is providing emergency response to the populations in the affected areas, hand in hand with local volunteers, while following the regulations put in place to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.


For the past three days, the Home Front Command and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aid delegation has been assisting cities in northwestern Honduras which were struck by the two hurricanes that blew through Central America, together with senior officials from Honduras.

 The Government of Honduras requested the aid delegation of the HFC in light of the accumulated knowledge of the State of Israel and specifically of the HFC in dealing with emergency situations.


 Directed by the Minister of Defense, MK Benny Gantz, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, MK Gabi Ashkenazi, the delegation arrived in Honduras on Wednesday. As part of the assistance, the delegation used professional technological equipment that has been developed in Israel over the past few years. The aid delegation charted the disaster areas, and their activities are concentrated on the cities which suffered the most damage.

 The delegation is providing emergency response to the populations in the affected areas, hand in hand with local volunteers, while following the regulations put in place to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.


 Tal Itzhakov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative: "The Israeli aid delegation has been concentrating its efforts to assist residents of the area to return to their daily routine after being struck by the hurricane, as well as training the Honduran emergency troops in dealing with disaster situations".


 The Commanding Officer of the National Rescue Unit, Col. (res.) Golan Vach: "The members of the delegation are reservists, experts in their fields with experience from similar situations that they have dealt with around the world over the past few years. Therefore, they perform their activities while equipped with technological gear in order to give their best response in their aid mission. The State of Israel and the Home Front Command will continue to assist in the aftermath of any disaster around the world that requires its experience and capabilities."


 The Israeli delegation in Honduras. Photo : IDF Spokesperson.






President Rivlin held the traditional new year’s reception for heads of Christian denominations in Israel, this year online

President Rivlin:

“The State of Israel will always remain committed to freedom of religion, and will always be proud of the strong Christian communities in the Holy Land”


President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin this morning, Wednesday 30 December / 15 Tevet, held the traditional new year’s reception for heads of the Christian denominations in Israel, this year online. Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III also delivered remarks.

“This is the last time that I will have the privilege of sending my New Year’s blessings to you and your communities, as President of the State of Israel. I wish I could do so in person, in a festive meeting. Unfortunately, that is not possible due to corona, which knows no difference between countries, peoples and religions,” said the president at the beginning of the event, held online this year.


“Despite the physical distance, I am deeply thankful for the close relationships we have built. Thank you for your cooperation and friendship. The State of Israel will always remain committed to freedom of religion, and will always be proud of the strong Christian communities in the Holy Land,” he added.

The president expressed his hope that he would soon be able to announce the opening ceremony of the Land of the Monasteries, saying “I hope and pray that this will be a year in which the Christian communities in Israel continue to grow and thrive, and in which Christians throughout the Middle East know peace and safety.”



The Land of the Monasteries is a wide-ranging tourism project in the area of the abandoned churches and monasteries on the banks of the River Jordan close to the site where, according to Christianity, John the Baptist baptized Jesus and his apostles. In recent years, the president has advanced plans to increase tourism to the area and develop the sites to visitors from around the world. South of the baptismal site there are a number of key sites – churches, chapels and monasteries – that give the area its name. The area, which his of major religious significance to Christians, has been developed and restored in recent years ahead of its opening to visitors. As part of the project, mines laid in the 1970s and which prevented access to the churches and the surrounding area, have been cleared.


Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri: “At a time when the coronavirus is claiming victims around the world, closing down economies and harming religion and education, we see that it does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race or gender. It is precisely now that we must be united in our war against the virus and in our prayers to return to better, saner days.”


“As well as this difficult time, we have seen a global peace process with the State of Israel, of which the Abraham Accords are a part. This is a welcome process of peace around the world that will save us from blood and tears, orphans and widows. Peace is wonderful! And you, religious leaders, have the capacity to preserve and take it to additional places. The State of Israel and Jerusalem will be home to all religions and each will have its place to hold its rituals, to preserve its traditions and its place of prayer, to strengthen its historical memory and to pray to its god in freedom, companionship and equality that will bring us all together.”


Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III: “We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to you, Mr. President, for your steadfast support of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious character of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. We have deeply appreciated the personal concern that you have shown us by speaking individually to each of the Heads of the Churches during this pandemic. We wish to extend to you, Mr. President, our greetings and best wishes for this holiday season, in which the Abrahamic faith traditions keep festivals of light and life.”


Photo credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)

 Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)







Israel held its largest virtual Model UN conference ever, as 150 students from over a dozen schools  competed at Young Ambassadors Model UN 2020. The conference was held as part of UN75, with a summary report being submitted to the UN75 office following the event. Students represented a variety of countries and international actors, as they discussed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the point of view of youth, as the world may face them in 2050, and even recreated the UN in a historical 1945 committee.

UN75, the UN’s initiative to more broadly engage civil society in the trajectory of our world, and Model UN, which empowers youth, fit together naturally. Thus as the end of 2020 approaches, and with in person conferences not yet viable, the Chen Young Ambassadors School of Petah Tiqva, led by Mrs. Rachel Amrani, held Israel’s first UN75 Model UN as a virtual conference on Sunday, November 22, 2020. More than 150 students grades 4-12 participated from all over Israel, as well as several other countries.


In keeping with the UN75 goals, the conference challenged participating youth to really engage with the SDGs and the direction they see the world heading in. In one committee beginning students discussed how the SDGs might be modified to better reflect the perspectives of youth. Several committees were futuristic, asking students to imagine the world in 2050 and what new challenges and realities might be facing the UN then. In these committees, in addition to member states, students represented companies like Amazon or Google, and entities like the “International Robot Union” and the “Mars Science Colony”. 


At the closing ceremony, Mrs. Rachel Amrani and the principal of the Ramon Comprehensive School in Petah Tiqva, Ms. Liza Reches, addressed the students. Ms. Stephanie Baric, a consultant on Child Protection for UNICEF, with experience addressing poverty and social injustice in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, spoke as a guest of the US Embassy. Mr. Jonathan Eshpar, Political Affairs officer at the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process spoke as well. All of the speakers emphasized how proud they were of the students for all they had achieved, in their very first MUN, and the importance of dealing with global challenges like the SDGs, and in using critical thinking and negotiation to try to solve problems big and small, global and local.



After the speeches it was time for the awards. In the Hebrew committees, Hili Hershcberg (Bialik school), Noy Meshita (Yitshak Navon), Gaia Gol (Devora Omer), Gaya Harush (Natan Yonatan), Shachar Nadav (Ein Ganim), Maya Battat (Natan Yonatan), Itay Yariv (Natan Yonatan), and Yali Ben-shmuel (Natan Yonatan) received Outstanding Delegate awards. The Best Delegates were Liya Roitman (Bar Lev), Yaniv Herwig (Bialik), Kfir Levita (Ein Ganim), Yuval Hakim (Yitshak Navon), and Rotem Getraide (Paul Kor). In the 5-7th grade committee, Raz Gigi (Ramon school), Itzhar Tamim (Ramon) and Harel Serruya (Shifer) were Outstanding delegates, while Bar Swift (Ein Ganim) and Lior Amram (Ramon) were Best Delegates. In the Youth and SDGs committee, Aiman Namouz (Greek Catholic), and May Kaplan (Ramon) won Outstanding Delegate, and Amir Kashani (Young Ambassadors) was Best Delegate. In the intermediate level UN2050 committee, Yonatan Oren (Ein Ganim), Yaniv Becker (Young Ambassadors) and RH (Debate for Peace) won Outstanding Delegate, while MA was Best Delegate (Debate for Peace. In the 1945 committee (Advanced), Rawan Wajeeh(Iksal high school) and Ansam Darawshi (Iksal high school) were the Outstanding Delegates, while Idan Avni (Debate for Peace) was Best Delegate. Congratulations to all over the participants!

 Steven Aiello


 Photo   Chen Young Ambassadors School