11 April 2016 - 3 Nisan 5776 - ג' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Twitter suspends accounts for terror threats, mostly ISIS-related E-mail

Twitter said in February that it has suspended over 125,000 accounts “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS”.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behaviour, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” the social networking service reported on its blog.

Twitter said it has increased the size of the team that reviews reports of abuse, and that has reduced response time to such abuse on the app. It also said that it was partnering with organisations working to counter extremist content online.

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More Indian tourists E-mail

Israel is actively targeting 50% more Indian tourists in 2016, said a top executive from the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT).

The country welcomed 13% more Indian tourists in 2015, with approximately 40,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel compared to around 35,000 in 2014. December 2015 alone saw a growth of 52% over the previous year, IMOT said. Israel attracted over three million visitors globally in 2015.

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A significant development to advance Israel-China coeducation initiatives is underway in the city of Shantou in Guangdong Province, southern China. The official cornerstone-laying and inauguration ceremony for the Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) took place on 16 December 2015.

GTIIT, an historic partnership between the Haifa-based Technion (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology) and Shantou University, will offer high-level, innovative and research-oriented undergraduate and graduate education.

GTIIT will comprise three units: the College of Engineering, the College of Science and the College of Life Science. The initial class of students is planned for this year, with an enrolment plan of 100 students for chemical engineering. At full build, the GTIIT is expected to enrol some 5,000 students, made up of 4,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students.

Shantou University (STU), a keystone project of the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) and Technion, agreed to jointly develop the GTIIT campus, which will be constructed next to STU. The LKSF grant, estimated to be around US$130 million, is the largest ever to Technion. It is also the highest grant ever given to Israeli higher education, and most significantly the most generous to any Jewish institution anywhere in the world. The grant agreement was signed on 29 September 2013 in Tel Aviv in the presence of Technion President Peretz Lavie, STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua, and Hong Kong philanthropist and businessman Mr Li Ka-shing.

A special welcoming dinner held in Shantou on 15 December 2015 was hosted by Zhu Xiaodan, Governor of Guangdong Province. Attendees included Technion representatives from Israel and the US, Israeli ministers, ambassadors, mayors, diplomats, business leaders and representatives of government institutions from China and Israel.

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In a further move to expand existing agricultural trade and research opportunities between Israel and China, Israel’s Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and China’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Yu Xinrong have signed a joint action plan for future collaborations, in the hope of doubling agricultural trade volume between the two nations over the next five years.

The signing ceremony took place on 19 November at the Israeli Agriculture Ministry in the presence of China’s Vice Prime Minister Wang Yang. This was a follow-up to an August meeting between the Israeli and Chinese agriculture ministers in Beijing.

The joint action plan aims to promote co-operation between the two nations in the sector, specifically focusing on bilateral trade, knowledge exchanges and collaborative research projects, the Israeli Agriculture Ministry explained.

“We are excited about the economic and trade co-operation between Israel and China,” Minister Ariel said. “There are many successes, but it is not enough. There is more to do to broaden the bilateral ties, and the purpose of this meeting was to advance further achievements. Let us increase our exports to Asia and, thereby, help farmers, as well as limit the European boycott.”

By continually strengthening co-operation, the action plan aims to speed up agricultural trade volume between China and Israel to US$450 million by 2020. According to Itzik BenDavid, the Agriculture Ministry’s deputy director-general for foreign trade and international relations, Israel is currently exporting about US$60 million worth of food products to China and about US$2.5 billion worth of food products globally. It imports about US$180million worth of food products from China, and about US$5.5 billion worth of food products from the rest of the world.

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Indonesian journalists visit the Knesset E-mail

Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, but that did not stop five respected Indonesian journalists from joining two Thai counterparts on a five-day fact-finding study visit sponsored by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affair Council’s (AIJAC) Rambam Program in October.

The group’s itinerary included a visit to Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset and a discussion with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, meetings with sever al Israeli journalists and a briefing by Jerusalem Post’ s Palestinian Affairs reporter Khaled Abu-Toameh, a close look at Israel’s startup business culture, and a security briefing along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. The Indonesian journalists, most of who were Muslims, also appreciated the chance to pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque as well as a new mosque in the Israeli Arab village of Abu Gosh.

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