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Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot wades into Netanyahu row over Israeli Arabs

BBC News

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has become embroiled in a row with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the status of the country's Arab minority. "Love your neighbour as yourself," she said, amid wrangling over the role of Israeli Arab parties in upcoming polls. Mr Netanyahu caused a stir when he said Israel "was not a state of all its citizens", referring to Arabs who make up 20% of its population. He cited a "nation-state" law which sparked controversy last year. Arab MPs reacted furiously in July when Israel's parliament approved the legislation, which says Jews have a unique right to national self-determination in the country and puts Hebrew above Arabic as the official language.


Ford Buys Israel's SAIPS in Bid to Put Self-driving Cars on the Road by 2021 - Business - Haaretz

#artificialintelligence

Detroit got its first toehold in Startup Nation on Tuesday, after Ford Motor Co. said it was buying SAIPS, an Israeli company that develops technologies that are key to self-driving vehicles. The acquisition was one of four deals the U.S. carmaker announced with the aim of having a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. Ford said the investment/collaboration with the four startups is part of its strategy of enhancing its autonomous vehicle development, which includes more than doubling its staff at its Palo Alto, California, research and development center. Ford said SAIPS, a computer vision and machine-learning startup, would strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence and enhanced computer vision. The company provided no financial details about its acquisition, but industry sources estimated it at tens of millions of dollars.


The dolls that defend Palestinian culture

Al Jazeera

Ramallah, occupied West Bank - In the dead of a cold December night, Israeli soldiers came for Yasser. They knew he would be easy to spot, wearing his signature black-and-white keffiyeh and olive-coloured military fatigues. Finally, they found him, expressionless and hiding in plain sight, along with a dozen other plush clones. The brainchild of Hilana Abu Sharifeh, a 32-year-old mother of four, Yasser is among the dozens of toys she designs and manufactures at her small, Tulkarem-based business. "The soldiers ransacked the whole place, seized fabric and damaged some of the products in the process," she said of the toy factory that her husband first opened in their garage more than two decades ago.


Chinese ambassador to Israel found dead in Tel Aviv home

Al Jazeera

The Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, has been found dead in his home north of Tel Aviv, according to the Israeli foreign ministry and police. No cause of death was given, and Israeli police on Sunday said it had opened an investigation. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that Du was found in the early morning by the envoy's staff in his home in Herzliya. He said police were at the scene investigating the circumstances surrounding Du's death. Media reports said according to an initial assessment, Du appears to have died of a cardiac arrest, but there was no official confirmation.


Israel finishes advanced tests of joint-made David's Sling midrange missile interceptor

The Japan Times

JERUSALEM – Israel has completed successful tests of an advanced version of its David's Sling intermediate missile interceptor system that it is developing jointly with the United States, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. The system is designed to shoot down rockets with ranges of 100 to 200 km (63 to 125 miles) such as those in the arsenal of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a Lebanese group that last fought a war with Israel in 2006, or aircraft or low-flying cruise missiles. An initial version of David's Sling completed testing in December 2015 and has been handed over to the Israeli air force but it has not yet been declared operational, a ministry official said. The system is being developed and manufactured jointly by Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Raytheon Co., a top U.S. arms maker. The advanced testing announced on Wednesday included the interception of air-launched incoming test target missiles high over the Mediterranean, Moshe Patel of the Israel Missile Defense Organization said in a telephone briefing.