On Tuesday, the Israel Internet Association announced that it is soon launching a new domain named ‘.Israel’, which will allow users to enter web addresses containing solely Hebrew letters.
As of now, the association is allowing trademark holders to pre-register for Internet addresses until July, and by September, the domains will be opened up to the general public.
“Opening the domain was a long and challenging process,” said 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.
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. 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 website’s 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.