Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Israel

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Israel to visit the company’s new research and development offices.

Cook visited the offices in Herzlyia on Thursday, a day after meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Israel is Apple’s second largest R&D hub outside the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported.

At the meeting with Rivlin, Cook said, “We hired our first individual in Israel in 2011 and we now have over 700 people working in Israel directly for us. Israel and Apple have gotten much closer together over the last three years than ever before, and we see that as just the beginning.”

Cook was accompanied in Israel by Apple vice president of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji, an Arab-Israeli who grew up in Haifa and earned computer science degrees from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in that city. Srouji joined Apple in 2008.