The Israeli community will soon be able to register domain names entirely in Hebrew script, thanks to the approval of a new IDN ccTLD ישראל for Israel.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have announced the successful completion of String Evaluation of the proposed IDN ccTLD string for Israel. This is a key stage that will result in the eventual deployment of domain names in Hebrew script.
Previously Hebrew speakers will have only been able to register domain names with Latin script endings such as ‘.il’, the ccTLD for Israel. The combination of left to right and right to left writing systems within a single domain name creates challenges for both usability and legibility.
The evaluation completed by ICANN has been for a new primary string ending ‘ישראל’ [Israel]. The Hebrew script IDN TLD will enable users to have domain names in a single script and avoid the complexity of mixing scripts and direction of writing systems.
Requests for ccTLDs from countries that have completed the preparation and string evaluation stages of deployment then move into the Delegation phase. These countries can apply for delegation following the same process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs.
The Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL) applied for the ‘ישראל’ ending, and Hebrew users should expect to see full Hebrew-script domain names rolled out in the coming months.
Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.
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