TechNation/ Haaretz Joins Facebook as First Israeli Paper to Publish News in New App

Elbit cyber unit wins $20m Asian contract | Israeli restrictions cost Palestinian mobile companies $1 billion | Israeli cancer-drug startup raises $18 million.

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Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 22, 2016.
Has Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, joined the Israeli censor?Credit: Bloomberg

Haaretz is joining The New York Times, Britain’s The Guardian and other leading global media outlets in publishing some of its content via Facebook’s Instant Articles mobile app.

“A major part of traffic to our website comes today via Facebook,” said Lior Kodner, chief digital officer at Haaretz. “We believe in being where our users are and every day social networks are used by 3 million Israelis, whom we want to be exposed to the quality content Haaretz has to offer.” 

Under the agreement, Haaretz will publish 8-10 articles daily and share profits from advertising with Facebook generally on a 70-30 basis. Readers will benefit from faster upload times. As Haaretz is the first Israeli media outlet to join up with Facebook, the collaboration required technical adjustments, including creating a format that posts text from right to left and can use Hebrew characters. (Nati Tucker)

Elbit cyber unit wins $20m Asian contract

Elbit Systems said Monday its Cyberbit unit was awarded $22 million in contracts to supply intelligence and cyber analysis and research systems for an unnamed country in the Asia-Pacific region over the next two years. The company will be delivering its WiT system, a highly advanced end-to-end intelligence and investigation solution that collects data from multiple sources, databases and sensors, processes the information, supports research, analysis and evaluation of the information with advanced tools, and disseminates the intelligence to the intended recipient.

Cyberbit was set up by Elbit, a defense electronics company, last year to consolidate its activities relating in the cyber Intelligence and security markets to governments and business and government and commercial cyber markets and beefed up the unit by acquiring Nice Systems’ Cyber and Intelligence Division in May 2015 for about $158 million. (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli restrictions cost Palestinian mobile companies $1 billion

Israeli restrictions have deprived cellular companies operating in the Palestinian Authority more than $1 billion in revenues over the last three years, the World Bank estimated in a report released last week. As a result, it said, the PA loses some $184 million in tax revenues, an amount equal to 3% of gross domestic product.

Israel agreed late last year to let Palestinian mobile providers to offer 3G services, but Israeli providers have long offered both 3G and 4G and have captured about a fifth of the Palestinian market in the West Bank, the World Bank estimated. Israel’s restrictive measures, including limits on imports of telecom and information technology gear, have hindered development of Palestinian telecommunications.

“With the unemployment rate at 26%, the Palestinian telecom sector has the potential to boost the economy and create job opportunities,” said Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza. (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli cancer-drug startup raises $18 million

Metabomed, a startup developing drugs that do a better job of targeting cancer cells and sparing normal ones, said Monday  it had boosted the size of its first-ever investment round to $18 million and took on a full-time CEO.

The company said the investor group includes the pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer. Other backers include MS Ventures, the incubator hosting Metabomed, as well Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Pontifax Fund, the Technion Research and Development Foundation and Arkin Holdings. 

Metabomed was co-founded by MS and three leading researchers in the field of cancer metabolism and computational biology — Prof. Eyal Gottlieb from the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, Prof. Eytan Ruppin of Tel Aviv University and the University of Maryland, and Prof. Tomer Shlomi of the Technion. It is focusing on the discovering and developing small molecule drugs directed against novel targets in the field of cancer metabolism. Simone Botti, who is now had of MS Ventures Israel BioIncubator, will join Metabomed as its full-time CEO. (TheMarker Staff)