19 October 2018 - 10 Heshvan 5779 - י' חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Suspect wanted for stabbing in Thailand E-mail

Thai police are pursuing a warrant for the arrest of an Israeli tourist who fled the country after stabbing an Australian tourist in a nightclub in the seaside resort of Pattaya in June.

Immigration officials informed police that the male suspect had left Thailand, The Nation newspaper reported. Australian tourist Jaydon Sienkiewicz, 21, was stabbed while partying with a group of 10 people, including his father and his Thai stepmother, in the Mixx night club. He suffered abdominal wounds and was rushed to a local hospital.

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Indian-origin woman running for mayor’s post in Ashkelon E-mail

One of the candidates running for a post as mayor in the city of Ashkelon in Israel has Indian ancestry in Vadodara, a city in Gujurat, a state in western India.

If Israel elects its first mayor of Indian origin this year, Vadodara will have its named etched in history forever. Dr Ricky Shay is the first person of Indian origin to run for the mayor’s post in Ashkelon. She was inspired to run for the post while working on the twin-city pact between Vadodara and Ashkelon.

“After the Vadodara-Ashkelon pact was signed some years ago, I began working on several programmes that were organised to bring these cities closer,” Shay told the Times of India.

“Before this pact, there was little contact with India. I came to Vadodara and met many people there. When I connected to my Indian roots and culture that is based on values of giving, patience and tolerance, I decided to run for the mayor’s post.”

“I have worked a lot for women’s empowerment here and I am banking on them for my victory. Ashkelon also has a Maharashtrian Jew community,” Shay said.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes official visit to Israel E-mail

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, together with his wife and a delegation of senior Japanese business leaders, made an official second visit to Israel in May.

Prime Minister Abe met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 2 May for talks and an extended working meeting chaired by the two prime ministers.

In the evening, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosted Prime Minister Abe and his wife for an intimate dinner at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Israel and Japan maintain a very good bilateral relationship and co-operate extensively on issues of economy and trade, cyber, science, academia, health and more. Subsequent to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s previous visit to Japan in 2014 and Prime Minister Abe’s previous visit to Israel in 2015, the bilateral relationship has been significantly enhanced in terms of reciprocal trade volume and investment by Japanese companies in Israeli technology

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This is your second visit to Israel. My most recent visit to Japan was spectacular. We see the tremendous growth in Japanese investments of Israel, Israeli investments in Japan, the technology opportunities. This is a great partnership and we’ll make it even better.”

Japanese Prime Minister Abe said: “I do hope that Mr Prime Minister will come back to Japan in the near future. And also I am very happy to note that there has been the dramatic increase in Japanese investment to Israel under my administration. And also this time around, I brought a business delegation from Japan to Israel, which includes so many of the CEOs from Japan, so I do hope that you’ll have a productive discussion with the business leaders in the summit meetings that we are planning to have. And also I do hope that we’ll further investment development between the two sides.”

The two agreed to move forward on the issue of direct flights from Japan to Israel, which would increase tourism, investments and business.

In January 2015, the Cabinet decided to strengthen economic ties with Japan; there has since been a clear trend of increased economic co-operation in a variety of fields.

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No tourists visas for Israelis to Indonesia E-mail

Reports published in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper in May suggesting that Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, will soon be issuing tourist visas to Israelis have been denied by the Indonesian government.

According to the Jakarta Post, “The Indonesian government does not have a tourist visa policy for Israeli citizens,” the government said in a press release, while stressing that Indonesia and Israel had no diplomatic relations.

Indonesia’s Immigration Directorate General Agung Sampurno denied a report by an Israeli media portal claiming that it was issuing tourist visas to Israelis. He said the granting of visas to foreign citizens from a country that did not have diplomatic relations with Indonesia was only made possible through the Calling Visa mechanism, which is overseen by the Foreign Ministry and its related agencies, including the Immigration Directorate General.

“The report stating Indonesia was issuing tourist visas to Israelis is a hoax,” Agung said.

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Strong tourism drive in the Philippines E-mail

After breaking tourism records in 2017, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism conducted its first road show in the Philippines, on 24 April in Manila and 26 April in Cebu City.

Nineteen companies from Israel joined the tour. The Manila event was conducted in a networking format between companies from Israel and more than 100 local travel agents.

Director Hassan Madah of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in India and the Philippines commented: “[Our country] is an emerging destination for the Filipino travellers [as] tourist arrivals from the Philippines to Israel have been growing [in] the last two years.”

Madah added: “We wanted to tap new markets, so we decided to conduct road shows in Manila and Cebu. We are also working on connectivity, as we discussed with Philippine Airlines the possibility of having direct flights, which hopefully [will happen] by the end of the year.”

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