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IDF Moves to Purchase 20,000 Israeli-Made Guns as Country Seeks Less Foreign Dependence

Israeli soldiers scan an area while sirens sound as rockets from Gaza are launched towards Israel, near Sderot, southern Israel, Oct. 9, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has moved forward with a purchase order of 20,000 Israeli-made M4A1 rifles, a move that comes as part of the army’s plans to build up domestic production and be less reliant on foreign countries.

According to the request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Defense Ministry, the guns — similar to M16 assault rifles — must be built by at least 51 percent locally made parts, with 100 percent of the assembly taking place in Israel.

Another aspect of the RFP is that the non-Israeli produced parts must “not require an export license,” an issue that has come up with Canada’s decision on March 18 to halt arms exports to Israel. The Canadian parliament cited “human rights” issues in Gaza its decision, leading to backlash from Israeli officials.

“It’s regrettable that the Canadian government is taking a step that undermines Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terrorists,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said of the decision.

The current war in Gaza — which started on Oct. 7 after Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, killed over 1,200 people and taking 253 others as hostages — has led to a rethinking within the Israeli defense establishment about the IDF’s high reliance on foreign weapons.

Beyond Canada, there have been growing calls among Democrats in the United States, which is Israel’s biggest defense exporter, to halt US weapons sales to the Jewish state.

Since the outbreak of war on Oct. 7, Israel has asked the US to deliver more than 10,000 tons of ammunition for tanks, missile defense, artillery shells, bombs for the air force, and handheld weapons for civilians that have come in over 240 transport planes and 20 military ships.

To become less reliant on such foreign aid, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in January that the Jewish state is “preparing the defense industries to disconnect from dependency on the rest of the world,” with a “multi-year plan to free Israel from dependence on external purchases. We’ll need to equip locally, with a local manufacturing capability.”

Defense Ministry Director-General Eyal Samir added, “One of the lessons we’ve learned during the war is our need to boost our independence and industry. This is Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s policy, and we are working on it.”

Earlier this month, The Algemeiner reported that the IDF and Defense Ministry were set to open solicitations for Israeli-made military helmets and uniforms in a move towards manufacturing independence.

The post IDF Moves to Purchase 20,000 Israeli-Made Guns as Country Seeks Less Foreign Dependence first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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