The Israeli business publication Globes reports that Apple will indeed be building a new research and development center in Israel as previously rumored, and that the company has hired entrepreneur Aharon Aharon to lead the effort. According to the paper, the new center — which would be the first Apple facility of its kind outside of California — will focus on semiconductor development. The news comes on the heels of a report that Cupertino will be acquiring Israeli flash memory technology company Anobit, in what is increasingly looking like a broader initiative to further integrate and solidify control over all aspects of the company's supply chain. The paper reports that Apple VP of R&D Ed Frank is currently visiting Israel to forge additional business relationships.

Aharon comes most recently from Camero Technology, Ltd., a company that provides imaging solutions for military use, but had previously worked with Jerusalem Global Ventures and served as VP of R&D for the audio-visual and wireless connectivity solutions maker Zoran. He will reportedly be spending several months at Apple headquarters in Cupertino before hiring personnel for the new operation.