Israel and the U.S.
U.S. Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 21 in Jerusalem. The two men agreed that forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace will take time. Later that day Kushner met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where they discussed issues at the center of a final status agreement such as the fate of Palestinian refugees and prisoners.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced in a press release that a former executive of an Israeli-based defense contractor, Yuval Marshak, has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Marshak was sentenced for falsifying documents in the U.S. DOD Foreign Military Financing program. Additionally, Marshak had to pay restitution of $41,170 to the Defense Department and a criminal fine of $7,500.
A United States-Israeli group will meet this week to discuss cyber security issues including the protection of critical infrastructure. The American government wants to work with Israel and other countries to create ways to stop cyber attacks and hacks. Members of the United States team include representatives of the State Department, Homeland Security, and the FBI.
German Members of Parliament have made an ultimatum that could ruin a $652 million deal, between Germany and the Israel Aerospace Industries, to give Heron-2 drones to the German Air Force. Members of Germany’s Social Democratic Party said they will not approve the deal with Israel in its current version and are demanding that the Heron-2 drones not come with the inclusion of any specialized weapons systems that can be used for targeted killings.
Approximately 4,000 Jews of Indian origin, who now live in Israel, will attend a keynote event hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Tel Aviv’s Convention Center during his three-day visit to Israel in July. Ahead of his historic trip, Israel’s cabinet approved a series of measures aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. The actions included the establishment of a joint fund to encourage Israeli and Indian business cooperation, agreements allowing the filming of Bollywood films in Israel, efforts to promote growth in tourism, and a joint government project in the fields of water and agriculture.
Israeli Military Technology
IAI finished an operational test firing of the long-range artillery (LORA) weapon system. The LORA system is made up of a long-range tactical ground to ground missile that can even be fired from a ship. It weighs about 3,527 pounds and is meant for strike scenarios with a range of up to 249 miles.
Israel has installed more surveillance cameras at many roads in the West Bank to increase security through the visual defense program. Over 1,700 cameras have been installed and the military plans to expand more as a way of collecting information that could decrease terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Haaretz reports that the IDF hope to eventually have a camera at every intersection in the West Bank.
Rafael revealed a radar and laser beam system called Drone Dome, at the Paris Air Show. The system is used for detecting and destroying drones, has a range of up to several miles, and causes very little disruption to other systems in urban areas.
Rafael revealed new fifth-generation tactical missiles called the Spike 2. Azerbaijan already uses the Spike 2, which has a range of up to 3.4 miles when launched from the ground and a range of 6.2 miles when shot from a fighter jet.
Elbit Systems was given a contract worth more than $20 million to provide a VIP Gulfstream G650 jet with its “J-Music” directed infrared countermeasure systems that can destroy incoming missiles. The plane costs $67.4 million.
Foreign Military Sales
The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation signed an agreement with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to supply spare parts and engineering services for Israel’s CH-53D heavy lift transport helicopters. The program will last for seven years with the goal of helping to overcome a shortage of parts that are difficult to acquire.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) wants to sell Kfir fighters, Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft, that were intended for Argentina, to United States-based private contractors. IAI hopes for the companies to use the Kfirs as ‘Red Air’ training platforms.