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Grand Challenges Israel announces 10 global health innovations

Innovators from Israel receive seed grants for bold ideas, tackling issues in global public Health and food security in low-resource nations.

The winners of the Grand Challenges Israel 2014 Awards were announced today by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and his Canadian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird at a festive ceremony in Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministers also signed four agreements, two of which were MOUs and two declarations of intent, underlining the strong diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Canada.

Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird: "The friendship between Canada and Israel is the foundation for increasing dynamic partnerships, partnership in diplomacy and government but also a partnership in innovation, science, business and cultural ties."

The funding announcement comes one year after the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy together with MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, launched Grand Challenges Israel. This program is dedicated to supporting technological and innovative solutions to grand challenges in global health and food security in developing countries, in addition to expanding efforts to integrate Israeli innovation in developing markets.


Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson: "In Israel, there is a large community of developers and entrepreneurs whose innovations are focused primarily on Western European and North American markets. The goal of this program is to steer Israeli entrepreneurs towards finding solutions for developing nations - those markets in which there's a real need for urgent solutions - as well as opening up a huge, untapped business potential for Israeli entrepreneurs and industrialists. Nothing speaks louder than success, and today the success that these entrepreneurs and innovators have achieved will pave the way for our future scientists and entrepreneurs, working together to 'do good and do well.'"

MASHAV Head Amb. Gil Haskel: "This special program reflects Israel's desire to continue to aid developing nations in areas of relevance to them, marking the point at which Israeli diplomacy and technological innovation meet."

The Grand Challenges Israel initiative is modeled on the Stars in Global Health program of Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, which is already making substantial contributions to global health and is part of the Grand Challenges Initiative launched by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation in 2003.

Within this framework, Grand Challenges Israel is offering yearly grants of up to 500,000 NIS to Israeli researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs for the proof of concept and development of their product/innovation in areas of global public health and food security, while providing a suitable framework for channeling and introducing Israeli innovative technology and services to this challenging and growing market.
After a call for proposals by Grand Challenges Israel in early 2014, ten Israeli companies - out of more than 100 applicants - with promising innovations were awarded a seed grant of up to 500,000 NIS each to develop their bold idea.
Awarding of the Grand Challenges Israel grants
The projects are:

Health care:

• Ariel Beeri, Everywhere Diagnostics: Ending cervical cancer by enabling screening using mobile phones.
• Yossi Alder, Respimometer: Early detection of pneumonia with a simple & efficient diagnostic tool.
• Tomer Keren, Biogal, Galed Labs Acs Ltd.: Point of Care PCR-like detection test kit for Leptospirosis, a neglected worldwide public health problem.
• Sagi Gliksman, Nanovation-GS: Sticky patch for early detection of pneumonia.
• Amir Galili, Westham Ltd.: New approach-method for controlling African Malaria vectors.

Water, Food Security & Agriculture:

• Rom Kshuk, Oplone Pure Science: Oplone Safe Water Strip.
• Pablo Kaplan, Sharp Mentoring (originally Wheelchairs of Hope): Delivering mobility, empowering access to education and independence.
• Alan Bauer, Aquatest: Personal Water Safety Device.
• Ram Reifen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Chickpea - the superfood.
• Haim Avioz, Tiran University: Development of biotechnology for all-male African River prawn aquaculture.
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FM Liberman on defeat of Palestinian draft resolution

The failure of the Palestinian resolution must teach the Palestinians that provocation and attempts to impose unilateral measures on Israel will not achieve anything.


Following the defeat of the Palestinian draft resolution in the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said: "The failure of the Palestinian resolution must teach the Palestinians that provocation and attempts to impose unilateral measures on Israel will not achieve anything - to the contrary."

According to FM Liberman, "The Palestinians' contempt for the most important states in the international community, first and foremost the United States, stems in part from the support they enjoy from some of the European states. Every state that truly wishes to promote a solution to the conflict must behave responsibly and make it clear to the Palestinians that decisions are made only around the negotiating table."

FM Liberman praised the work of the Foreign Ministry staff who, for the second time in the past three years, succeeded in thwarting the Palestinian resolution, through a concerted effort and thanks to the diplomatic relations that Israel has cultivated and developed in Africa and in eastern and central Europe.
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Israel foiled Palestinian rocket attack to assassinate Lieberman

WJC, The Shin Bet said it had foiled a plot to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with a rocket-propelled grenade during last summer's Gaza conflict. Four Palestinians were arrested over the plot.

Israel's inland security agency said the attack was to be carried out during Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza last July and August. The Shin Bet said the four men belonged to Hamas.

The cell reportedly planned to buy an a grenade and fire it at Lieberman's convoy near his home in Nokdim, in the West Bank. The agency said the group had the minister's convoy under surveillance. They are said to have timed and measured different sections of the convoy's journey to calculate the most effective point for the attack.

Three of the suspects - Ibrahim Salim Mahmoud al-Zir, Ziad Salim Mahmoud al-Zir and Adnan Amin Mahmoud Sabih - came from a nearby Arab village in the West Bank.

Ibrahim Salim Mahmoud al-Zir allegedly masterminded the plot and recruited his brother Ziad, Adnan Amin Mahmoud Sabih and another Hamas member Youssef Ibrahim Youssef al-Sheikh, from the Bethlehem area. The group were arrested two weeks ago, the Shin Bet said.

According to the agency, the men said they had hoped that killing Lieberman "would relay a message to the State of Israel that would bring about an end to the Gaza war".
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FM Liberman meets US Secretary Kerry in Washington

FM Liberman: Ultimately, the aim of all Islamic terror is one and the same: the destruction of Western civilization. Hence, just as we cannot negotiate with ISIS, we cannot negotiate with Hamas.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met in Washington D.C. with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Minister Liberman told Secretary Kerry that Israel deeply appreciates America's support during Operation Protective Edge and that the Israeli leadership and people know that the United States is Israel's greatest friend. FM Liberman asked Secretary Kerry to have the State Department's travel warning to Israel changed in the wake of the end of Operation Protective Edge, so that American citizens will know that there is no reason not to visit Israel, and they will not be in any danger.

FM Liberman told Secretary Kerry that Israel supports the United States in its efforts to form a broad international front against ISIS, and stands ready to help in this task should it be asked, taking into consideration the sensitivities of the states taking part and the needs of the United States.

Minister Liberman noted that the war against terror, in all its forms, is the most important taks of the free world today. We cannot differentiate one form of terror from another. The Hamas terrorist activities against Israel and against the people of Gaza are no different from the terror of ISIS. The difference is only semantic and in the media approach adopted by the organizations. Ultimately, the aim of all Islamic terror is one and the same: the destruction of Western civilization. Hence, just as we cannot negotiate with ISIS, we cannot negotiate with Hamas. As long as Hamas rules in Gaza, there will not be peace or security. Anyone who seeks to advance an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians must bring an end to the rule of terror within the Palestinian Authority.

FM Liberman also told Secretary Kerry that the need to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state is part of the same struggle, because Iran is the number one exporter of terror in the world. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the world will be a much more dangerous place and the Middle East will enter a nuclear arms race that will convulse the region even more than today. The world powers must stand firm in their negotiations with Iran and continue the sanctions, because there can be no compromise with terrorism.
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FM Liberman announces the opening of an Israeli embassy in Lithuania

​The embassy, due to open in January 2015, is an expression of the significant strengthening of the bilateral relationship in recent years and its contribution to both peoples.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, currently on an official visit to Lithuania, met in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Algridas Butkevicius and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius.
At his meeting with FM Linkevicius, FM Liberman announced the opening of an Israeli embassy in Vilnius as of January 2015. FM Liberman stated that relations between Israel and Lithuania have strengthened in recent years, a fact that has been expressed in many areas. These include the inauguration of a Tel Aviv-Vilnius airline route, a substantial increase in tourism, the development and strengthening of economic and business ties between the two countries in the fields of high-tech, technology and medicine and the relationship between the two nations. 150 representatives from 60 Israeli companies are participating in The Life Sciences Baltics conference currently being held in Lithuania, and next week an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the destruction of the Kovno Ghetto will be held in Vilnius with the participation of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.
FM Liberman thanked his hosts on Lithuania's fair position during Operation Protective Edge and for the backing given to Israel in the Security Council during the operation. FM Liberman stated that this meant that the Security Council did not issue a condemnation against Israel, despite pressure from certain countries, thus allowing the IDF to continue its operation against terror.
FM Liberman added that Israel and Lithuania will continue to reinforce and strengthen the relationship that contributes to both peoples and both countries.
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FM Liberman meets with German parliamentarians

What is important for the future is the creation of a control mechanism that will ensure that the funds and building materials that enter Gaza will be used solely for the building of civilian infrastructures - such as schools and health clinics - and not to produce rockets or to dig new tunnels.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem with a delegation of German parliamentarians who came to show solidarity and to express support for Israel. FM Liberman thanked them for their support and voiced his appreciation of the positions adopted by Germany in the European Union and other international forums with regard to Israel.

FM Liberman said that what is happening today in the Middle East is a colliding of civilizations between the free world and radical Islam, and what is happening in Gaza is only one manifestation of this - one of a long list of conflicts: in Libya, in Iraq, and elsewhere. This struggle is the greatest challenge facing the free world since World War II, and Europe must be committed to supporting Israel. Beyond the moral aspects of the issue, Israel is the vanguard on this front, because it represents Western values. This is why Islamic extremists are fighting Israel, said Liberman, and added that he is not sure that everyone in Europe understands this.

FM Liberman stressed that, with regard to Gaza, Israel has done what the international community and Europe advocated for years, dismantling all the Israeli communities there. In return, instead of peace and stability, we received radical Islam, which has been attacking Israel from Gaza with rockets and other terrorist activities, virtually since the day Israel disengaged from Gaza.

Hamas does not advocate the establishment of a Palestinian state or a two-state solution, but the establishment of a single, large Islamic state, said Liberman.

What is important for the future is the creation of a control mechanism that will ensure that the funds and building materials that enter Gaza will be used solely for the building of civilian infrastructures - such as schools and health clinics - and not to produce rockets or to dig new tunnels.
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Israeli ambassadors and heads of mission convene at MFA

President Peres: "The State of Israel cannot stand on security alone. Israel needs diplomacy as well and it is the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to push forward a peace agreement."
FM Liberman: "Even with all the doubts I have over the true intention of the other side, dialogue between us is important."


President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman officially opened the conference for Israeli ambassadors and heads of mission at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Before speaking to Israel's representatives across the world President Peres surveyed the MFA Situation Room which was opened during his tenure as Foreign Minister and laid a wreath at the memorial wall for MFA employees who fell in the service of their country.

Foreign Minister Liberman, in the name of the Foreign Ministry, awarded President Peres with a special gift in acknowledgement of his diplomatic service on behalf of the State of Israel, and said: "We are at opposite poles, but both want the same thing. Even with all the doubts I have over the true intention of the other side, dialogue between us is important,” Liberman said.

Foreign Minister Liberman, addressing the conference attendees, emphasized seven major issues on Israel's diplomatic agenda today:
• relations with the U.S.;
• new areas of focus for Israel's foreign relations, with an emphasis on Africa;
• the Iranian threat;
• the Palestinian issue;
• relations with our neighbors - from Turkey and Iraq, to Libya and Sudan;
• relations with the BRICS emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; and
• relations with the European Union, particularly France and Germany.
President Peres addressed the negotiations with the Palestinians and said, "Since the creation of the State of Israel we have always faced more threats than opportunities, today for the first time the tables have turned and the opportunities are more tangible and promising than the dangers.

This is the first time Israel is getting offers to upgrade the relationship with the European Union and the Arab League, who for the first time is willing to recognize Israel and understands that Israel is not the enemy. Don't be confused, an economic boycott can be as damaging to Israel as the security threats.

I was here when the state was founded, Ben Gurion faced fateful decisions which had great dangers and only small chances for success. Today Israel has great opportunities. The State of Israel cannot stand on security alone, Israel needs diplomacy as well and it is the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to push forward a peace agreement."

President Peres also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat and said, "I am concerned by Iran's development of long range missiles. We must monitor the development of missiles in Iran and include that in an agreement – it requires cooperation between the US and Russia. It is hard to monitor uranium but much easier to monitor the means of delivery. Iran continues to supply arms to terrorist organizations and serves as a world center of terror."

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FM Liberman meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Israel's concern regarding the agreement signed with Iran is based on real facts. We continue to witness Iranian activity undermining world stability - in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met on with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations in New York. During the meeting, they discussed the agreement signed between the P5+1 and Iran, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, developments in the Middle East, and relations between Israel and the United Nations.

FM Liberman said that Israel's concern regarding the agreement signed with Iran is based on real facts. Just a day before the agreement was signed, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei likened Israel and the Jews to an untouchable rabid dog, and said that Israel is destined to vanish. Today, we continue to witness Iranian activity undermining world stability - in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere. Several weeks ago, an Iranian operative planning to kill the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan was arrested in Baku.

FM Liberman noted that the agreement with Syria included real steps to remove and destroy its chemical weapons, unlike Iran which is not prepared to relinquish its nuclear ambitions.

With regard to the talks with the Palestinians, FM Liberman said that the Palestinian approach is harming the chances to advance negotiations through unilateral action to gain acceptance to 16 UN-related bodies. Moreover, their public statements that they are only waiting for the release of another group of prisoners before withdrawing from the talks are leading the talks to an impasse. FM Liberman asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to act to alter the Palestinian approach.

FM Liberman noted that the settlements constitute in total only 1.5% of the land in Judea and Samaria, and do not constitute an obstacle to peace but rather an excuse for those who do not want peace.

FM Liberman noted that Israel has taken a difficult decision to resume cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council, in the hope that its activity will be more balanced, at least with regard to the Western states.

The meeting was cordial, and the Secretary General congratulated Liberman on his return to the position of Foreign Minister.

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