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Sunrise Guidelines for Hebrew Domain Names under the New “ישראל.” ccTLD

April 7, 2022

The Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL) that manages and operates Israel’s Latin country code Top Level Domain (“.IL ccTLD”), will soon invite the public to register domain names in Hebrew under the country’s new ccTLD – “ישראל.”.

Before the public launch of the new TLD, ISOC-IL will grant eligible parties an exclusive, time-limited opportunity to secure the registration of specific domain names under the new TLD as part of the Sunrise procedure.

Sunrise is a standard procedure among global registries that open new TLDs. ISOC-IL’s multi-step Sunrise procedure will extend over several months, mitigating legal disputes that might arise when the new TLD opens for registration following ISOC-IL and other registrars’ “first come, first served” policy.

Sunrise allows entities incorporated in Israel (companies, associations, political parties, etc.) and owners of Israeli trademarks to guarantee their right to register a Hebrew domain name that matches their name or registered trademark.

ISOC-IL will open the new TLD to the public once Sunrise ends, and everyone can register any available domain name, providing it complies with the registration rules.

More information about the Sunrise guidelines and submitting applications.

What is Sunrise?

A preliminary procedure for pre-registration of Hebrew domain names under the “.ישראל” TLD. Sunrise was designed to mitigate legal disputes that might arise when the new TLD opens for registration following ISOC-IL and other registries’ “first come, first served” policy.
Sunrise is a standard procedure among global registries that open new TLDs.
During Sunrise, eligible parties will have the right of first refusal to register domain names under the “ישראל.” TLD, as explained in detail in the Sunrise guideline .
Eligible parties include entities incorporated in Israel (companies, associations, political parties, etc.) and owners of Israeli trademarks to guarantee their right to register a Hebrew domain name that matches their name or registered trademark.

What is the planned schedule for public registration of domain names under the ישראל. TLD?

Phase 1: From May 10, 2022, to July 10, 2022 – Sunrise

Phase 2: From July 11, 2022, to August 15, 2022 – Review of applications and replies to applicants.

Phase 3: Monday, September 5, 2022, at 12:00 PM – Registration opens to the public.

ISOC-IL may change the Sunrise schedule at its discretion, depending on the circumstances of the case. On such occasion, we will issue a notice.

Is there a fee for early applications?

No. Applying to pre-register a Hebrew “.ישראל” TLD domain name is free of charge. Pending ISOC-IL’s approval, eligible applicants have a time-limited right of first refusal to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. This right (the Protected Registration Period) is valid for three months, from the time registration of “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public. Holders have to register the domain name through ISOC-IL’s authorized registrars to exercise their rights. Note that each registrar charges its own registration fee.

Why are Sunrise applications limited to specific criteria?

The pre-registration procedure is only applicable when a clear and direct affiliation between the applicant and the requested domain name is documented in an Israeli state registry. ISOC-IL set of criteria ensures an efficient, reliable process. Domain names that weren’t registered during Sunrise will be available for registration (following our current “first come, first served” registration policy) once the “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public.

I own a trademark that doesn’t meet the Sunrise criteria. Can I register a corresponding domain name?

Yes. You can request to register the Hebrew domain name when the “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public. If someone has already registered a domain name that you believe violates your legal rights, you can contact ISOC-IL Dispute Resolution Procedure (IL-DRP) or the courts.

I’m self-employed. Why am I not eligible for Sunrise?

Because you’re not a legal entity. Self-employment is a tax-related issue that doesn’t involve the comprehensive inspection required when listing a company, association, partnership, trademark, etc.
You can register the requested domain name after the public launch of the new TLD, shortly after Sunrise ends, following ISOC-IL’s current “first come, first served” registration policy.

I hold a Latin “.il” domain name and invested a lot in building my reputation. Why am I not eligible for Sunrise?

The rights to any registered domain name, whether under “.il” TLD (in Latin letters) or any other TLD, do not entitle the right to register a Hebrew domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD – either during or after Sunrise.

ISOC-IL grants holders of a Hebrew “.il” TLD domain name a time-limited right of first refusal to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. This right (the Protected Registration Period) is valid for three months, from the time registration of “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public (excluding exceptional circumstances, such as domain names that cannot be registered at all under the new TLD).

I’m the holder of a “.il” Hebrew domain name. Am I eligible for Sunrise?

As a holder of a Hebrew domain name under the “.il” TLD (for example, “org.il.שםהמתחםשלי”), you have a time-limited right of first refusal to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. This happens automatically, without having to apply during Sunrise, except in exceptional cases of conflicting rights or domain names that cannot be registered at all.

ISOC-IL will send you a notice via the domain name’s contact information, so it’s essential that you keep these details up to date.
You can exercise your right by submitting a valid registration application to any authorized registrars. Note that each registrar charges its own registration fee. If you opt out of registration during the Protected Registration Period, your eligibility will expire, and the domain name will be available to another prior right-holder or the public, following ISOC-IL’s current “first come, first served” registration policy.

I’m the holder of a “.il” Hebrew domain name. Do I have to apply to register the same ישראל. domain name, or does ISOC-IL automatically converts my existing domain name to the new TLD?

We don’t convert domain names between the registries—”.il” and “ישראל.” are two separate TLDs. Your “.il” TLD Hebrew domain name will remain as is, following this TLD’s registration rules.
ISOC-IL grants holders of a Hebrew “.il” TLD domain name a time-limited right of first refusal to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. This right (the Protected Registration Period) is valid for three months, from the time registration of “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public (excluding exceptional circumstances, such as domain names that cannot be registered at all under the new TLD).
Note that each registrar charges its own registration fee.
It’s not mandatory to register the matching Hebrew domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD.

I have a Latin trademark registered in Israel - why am I not eligible for registration of its Hebrew equivalent during Sunrise?

“ישראל.” TLD domain names use Hebrew-only letters. When we defined the criteria for Sunrise applications, we decided to grant a pre-registration right to Hebrew trademark owners. There’s no definite and unambiguous way to match a Latin trademark: It could be a translation or a transliteration, with each alternative including several appropriate variations in Hebrew. You can apply to register the domain name you want when the “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public.

I’d like to register a ישראל. TLD domain name, but I’m ineligible for Sunrise. When can I register it?

You’ll be able to register any domain name available for registration when the “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public.

My company is called by a different commercial name than its official name in the Registrar of Companies. Can I register this name instead of the official one during Sunrise?

During Sunrise, it will only be possible to request to secure the registration of domain names that are identical to the full name, in Hebrew, of an Israeli legal entity (such as:  company, association, or political party). See Section 7 of the “ישראל.” TLD registration rules

I own several registered trademarks. Is there a limited number of Hebrew domain names I can register?

No, but you’ll have to submit a separate application for each eligible domain/trademark. For more information, see sections 5 and 6 of the Sunrise guidelines.

My Sunrise request was approved. What should I do now? What’s the time frame? What happens if I don’t exercise my right?

Pending ISOC-IL’s approval, eligible applicants have a time-limited right of first refusal to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. This right (the Protected Registration Period) is valid for three months, from the time registration of “ישראל.” TLD opens to the public.

The right to register the Hebrew “ישראל.” TLD domain name is nontransferable and cannot be granted to any third party, including the entity to which the domain name was assigned.
If you do not register the domain name during the Protected Registration Period, your eligibility will expire, and the domain name will be available to another prior right-holder or the public, following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy.

I was eligible for pre-registration of a domain name during Sunrise but didn’t exercise my right, and now another party has registered the domain name. What can I do?

Your right has expired, and the domain name became available to the public, following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy.

If someone has already registered a domain name that you believe violates your legal rights, you can contact ISOC-IL Dispute Resolution Procedure (IL-DRP) or the courts.

When I tried to register a ישראל. TLD domain name, I got a message saying it was reserved for someone else (per the Sunrise procedure). Would I ever be able to register this domain name?

If the party eligible for the registration of this domain name does not register the domain during the Protected Registration Period, their right will expire, and the domain name becomes available for registration by the public, following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy.

I heard that other TLD registries implement a multi-step Sunrise that allows third parties to secure their rights for domain names. Why is ISOC-IL’s Sunrise procedure different?

Most pre-registration procedures are usually the same as ISOC-IL’s, allowing prior registration of domain names that have a clear association with their holders. Such affiliation usually no longer exists in the following steps of these proceedings, and they offer lotteries or auctions. ISOC-IL aims to advance the local Internet community – not commercial purposes; it has always charged a standard registration fee and conducts no tenders, auctions, or lotteries of domain names.

Are Hebrew domain names and the new TLD used to extract money from people?

No. Hebrew domain names and the “ישראל.” TLD extend the Israeli namespace. “ישראל.” TLD domain names use Hebrew-only letters, conforming to the following format: “שםהמתחםשלי.ישראל”. Supporting non-Latin domain names increases usability and allows broader communities to access the internet.

Why are .il TLD Hebrew domain name holders eligible for Sunrise and holders of .il Latin domain names aren’t?

In 2010, when ISOC-IL launched the registration of Hebrew domain names under the “.il” TLD, it stated its intention to allow holders of such domains to register a matching domain in the future. Now we make good on our promise.

Beyond that, the rights to any registered domain name, whether under “.il” TLD (in Latin letters) or any other TLD, do not entitle the right to register a Hebrew domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD – either during or after Sunrise.

What happens when two parties hold the same domain name with different suffixes? For example, co.il.שםהמתחםשלי belongs to one party while org.il.שםהמתחםשלי is registered to another. Which one has the right of first refusal to a matching ישראל. domain?

ISOC-IL has determined that the right of first refusal is based on the registration date of the “.il” Hebrew domain name, prioritizing the party that registered the earliest following ISOC-IL’s “first come, first served” registration policy.

If the eligible party opts out, their right to register the matching “ישראל.” TLD domain name expires and is passed to the holder that registered afterward.

What will happen to Hebrew .il domain names?

The existing “.il” Hebrew domain names will remain as they are, according to this TLD’s registration rules. Holders of Hebrew domain names under the “.il” TLD are not obliged to register the same Hebrew domain name under the “ישראל.”.

A party wishing to hold domain names under both TLDs must renew the “.il” domain and register and renew the “ישראל.” TLD domain name.

“.il” Hebrew domain name that isn’t renewed will be permanently deleted because ISOC-IL no longer allows registering Hebrew domain names under the “.il” registry.

I had a Hebrew .il domain name that expired. Am I eligible for the ישראל. TLD domain name during Sunrise

No. The right to register the “ישראל.” TLD Hebrew domain name is granted to holders of matching “.il” domain names at the time of the publication of the Sunrise guidelines [April 10, 2022]. Since you no longer hold the Hebrew domain name recorded in the “.il” registry, you’re ineligible to register the same domain name under the “ישראל.” TLD. Of course, you’re allowed to register any domain name after the public launch of the new TLD, per the registration rules.

I have a Hebrew .il domain name, but the registration details are not up to date. Could it affect my eligibility?

Yes. Please confirm the contact information of your Hebrew “.il” TLD domain name is complete and up to date, because the “ישראל.” TLD registration is based on these same details. Furthermore, notices we issue to holders are sent to the addresses currently on record in our systems.

You can review the relevant data via ISOC-IL’s WHOIS service, which aggregates the information of registered “.il” domain names.

Please reach out to your current registrar if you need to revise the information.

Spoiler title

Indeed, ISOC-IL reviews registration applications submitted to the registry based on “first come, first served”: the correct application recorded earliest in the registry will be examined first. Before opening the registration to the public, ISOC-IL will implement a Sunrise procedure, granting eligible parties a time-limited opportunity to register specific domain names.

ISOC-IL’s fundamental guiding principle is to provide universal, equal, impartial, and non-discriminatory services to the entire Israeli internet community – both in general and regarding the domain name registry.

How do non-Latin domain names work?

Domain names in Hebrew (and other languages) use a set of standards called IDN (Internationalized Domain Names). Hebrew domain names are translated into strings containing Latin letters, numbers, and hyphens decoded by the domain name system (DNS). For example, the domain name “איגוד-האינטרנט.ישראל” is “xn —- zhcbgfhe2aacg8fb5i.xn – 4dbrk0ce”. Many browsers already support IDN standards, but email software and other applications are still in process.