JTA NEWS
19 December 2018 - 11 Tevet 5779 - י"א טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
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Pakistan-Israel engagement goes viral E-mail

A photo that appeared to show Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan went viral in October following rumours that a plane from Israel had landed in Islamabad on 25 October.

However a reverse image search found that the photograph had been doctored. The original picture shows Khan meeting a Pakistani official, but in the fake image Netanyahu’s head had been superimposed on top.

The viral Facebook post is captioned: “If Israeli plane did not come to Pakistan, then how this Israeli ... came at Pakistani soil. A question does arise.” It contains a photo that appears to show Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at his office in Islamabad. It was created by editing an earlier official photo of Khan in his office.

On the Pakistani prime minister’s official Facebook page is a photograph of Khan meeting a former chief of the country’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. Khan is seen presenting Lieutenant General (retired) Naveed Mukhtar with a shield during a farewell meeting at the prime minister’s office in Islamabad. The official website of the Prime Minister’s office also posted a press release on 22 October about the farewell meeting between Khan and Mukhtar.

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Air India schedules more flights to Tel Aviv E-mail

National flag carrier Air India has announced an increase in its flight services to Israel, as the number of Indian tourists visiting the Jewish nation has been growing steadily.

“With an increased demand on Air India’s New Delhi-Tel Aviv flight services, India’s national carrier has confirmed an increase in frequency on this sector, adding a fifth weekly flight starting 26 November 2018,” Israel’s Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.

Air India will now operate the 256-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner five days a week, including Monday in addition to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, it added.

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Israel’s national anthem played at judo tournament in Abu Dhabi E-mail

Israeli lightweight judoka (judo competitor) Sagi Muki won a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018 judo tournament and heard Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, played during the medal ceremony.

It was the first time that the anthem had been played in Abu Dhabi. The tournament took place from 27 to 29 October. The national anthem was played again for a second time after semi heavyweight judoka Peter Paltchik had won a gold medal.

The Israeli team was welcomed to the tournament under the auspices of the governing body of the International Judo Federation (IJF). In July, the IJF cancelled the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix, “until governmental guarantee is given to ensure free and equal participation of all nations at the said events”.

The Abu Dhabi event was reinstated after the UAE Judo Federation confirmed in an official letter to the IJF that all nations participating in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam would do so “under equal conditions”. That historic decision enabled all nations, including Israel, to display their national insignia and to have their national anthem played.

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Cricket boost for Israel E-mail

Newly elected Israel cricket president Joseph Tal, who was born in Mumbai, has sought the support of his native country to nurture the existing talent in Israel. Tal’s family immigrated to Israel in the 1960s when he was 16.

“There are a lot of Indian-origin youngsters playing for the Israeli national cricket team and also in the Israeli league. Most of them have grown up following Indian cricketing legends” he told the PTI news agency.

“In the past there has been some effort to work out some sort of a training programme for our cricketers with the help of BCCI (the Board of Control for Cricket in India), which is the national governing body for cricket in India. We would like to renew those efforts and see if we can get some sort of support from BCCI to help nurture our young talent,” he said. The Israeli league has 18 teams participating at two levels. Tal wants to change that and plans to start a programme to take cricket into schools and attract youngsters of diverse origins to the game.

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Two new agricultural Centres of Excellence inaugurated in India E-mail

Building on the ever-growing partnership in agriculture between Israel and India, two new Centers of Excellence in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, under MASHAV and the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP), were inaugurated on 26 October by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath and Chargé d’Affaires Ms Maya Kadosh.

The ceremony was held during Krishi Kumbh 2018, a three-day international conference and exhibition about rural agriculture held in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

A centre in Basti will focus especially on mangoes, while one in Kannauj will focus on vegetables. Diverse technologies will be demonstrated to farmers so they can choose the technology that suits them best. The aim is for them to double their income.

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