Israel Internet Association announced on Tuesday its launch of the new domain ".Israel", what will allow website founders to create web-addresses containing solely Hebrew letters.
The association opened slots in a preregistration list for enterprises and entities with Israeli commerce text logos. The option to sign up for the new domain will remain open until July, after which slots will become available to the general public.
A domain is placed on every web or email address to mark its category or location within the internet. The Israel Internet Association is responsible for allotting domains in the country, and ever since the 1980's the local domain has been ".il".
Like many other international initiatives of the sort, the registration process will have a "sunrise period", during which trademark holders may preregister names that are the same or similar to their trademarks in order to avoid cybersquatting.
During this special period, the domain will be available only to bound enterprises, such as listed companies, associations, statutory corporations, political parties, as well as entities with Israeli commerce text logos. The next stage entails examining all the registration requests, and only towards September will registration be offered to public Israeli users. Preregistration will be free.
In addition to the new domain, four new sectors of online platforms will be launched - government, IDF, settlement, and academia. This will allow official entities that belong to these sectors to establish internet websites with more distinct and specified addresses. Take per se the Finance Ministry, which with the use of these tools, will be able to attach "treasury.government.Israel" to its web address, instead of "gov.il"- the more vague domain in use today.
The websites domain ".il" will continue to function with their existing addresses, but will be given an option to convert to the new ".Israel" domain automatically, without having to apply for registration.
"Opening the domain was an especially long and challenging process," explains CEO of Israel Internet Association Yoram Hacohen.
"The idea to establish a domain in Hebrew has been around for more than a decade, and we even conducted a survey for the Israeli public in 2012 that helped us focus the process. This is a rare and important event, with national and historic meaning, that will grant a significant advantage in reinforcing the local linkage," he said.