European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 17/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 17/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Netanyahu: Israel in close contact with Moscow over issues in Syria

Israel is in “close contact” with Moscow, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, the day Russia launched a major new offensive in Syria, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Netanyahu, on a visit to the new military training complex named after Ariel Sharon in the Negev, was asked about Russia’s presence in Syria by a soldier.

He replied that he has met four times with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the last year. The purpose of those meetings, he added, was “strengthening the contact so there will not be any collision that no one wants between the IDF and the Russian Army.”

Until now, Netanyahu said, there has been no such accidental engagement, and it is hoped that there will not be one. Netanyahu flew to Moscow in September 2015, shortly after Russia became actively engaged in the fighting in Syria, to establish a “deconfliction” mechanism between the two militaries. 

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israel and French Air Force hold first joint exercise

Israel and France held their first joint air exercise on the island of Corsica for the past two weeks, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The exercise, which was held at the Solenzara Air Base from October 31 to November 11, saw Israeli F-15s fly alongside French Rafale jets.

Israel regularly holds air exercises in Greece, Italy and the United States, but according to French media, one of the objectives of the exercise was to train Israeli fighter pilots in a different environment than they are used to.

During the two-week exercise, code-named “White Stripes,” the Israeli jets reportedly flew two to three sorties per day, sometimes accompanied by French jets. The exercise was initially planned several years ago, but had been postponed several times.

Cooperation between Israel and France has expanded in recent years, with the two countries holding several joint exercises, including one simulating a naval attack on Israel.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • New tenders to be offered for offshore gas exploration

Israel is launching a bidding process for oil and gas exploration licences off its Mediterranean coast, the first such offers in four years, the Times of Israel reports.

The government has high hopes for the new blocks being offered following the discoveries of the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields off its coast since 2009. Israel hopes the Leviathan field will eventually allow it to become a gas exporter, which could provide it with additional leverage in the turbulent Middle East.

According to the energy ministry, 24 offshore blocks will be offered for exploration in the first round starting on Tuesday and ending around March 2017, each up to 400 square kilometers (155 square miles).

The Tamar field, discovered in 2009 and which began production in 2013, has estimated reserves of up to 238 billion cubic meters (8.4 trillion cubic feet).

Leviathan, discovered in 2010 and set to begin production in 2019, is estimated to hold 535 billion cubic meters (18.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

Last month, Israel and Turkey agreed to start discussions on building a gas pipeline to pump Israeli gas to Europe.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


Thursday, November 17, 2016
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