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January 9

Gaza

On Sunday morning, a bomb was flown into Israel using a large cluster of balloons and a model drone. The explosive device landed in a carrot field in southern Israel. In response, Israeli military helicopters attacked two Hamas observation posts. Subsequently, Gazan terrorists fired a rocket into Israel early Monday, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome system
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Some 10,000 Palestinians took part in violent protests along the Gaza border last Friday, burning tires and hurling rocks and explosive devices at IDF soldiers. The Israeli army foiled two attempts to breach the border fence. Photos showed several Gazans trying to climb over the fence.
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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that Israel had “foiled the smuggling of 15,000-20,000 rockets” into Gaza.
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Attacks

A 14-year-old girl was lightly injured in her neck and hand in a suspected stabbing in a southeast Jerusalem neighbourhood, as she waited at a bus stop on her way to school. The girl said she was stabbed with a sharp object by a person she did not know.
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An Israeli bus came under fire shortly after midnight on Sunday near Beit El in the West Bank. The bus driver was lightly hurt from glass shards from the windshield. This is the fourth attack in the area over the past month. Some of the members of the terror cell behind the previous attacks have already been captured.
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An Israeli woman said Wednesday that a group of Palestinians blocked her car close to a West Bank settlement and then smashed her window with a hammer, leaving her lightly injured. She remained in her vehicle and managed to drive away.
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Co-Existence

Israeli business mogul Rami Levy’s latest venture, a shopping mall in the northern Jerusalem suburb of Atarot that will serve both Israelis and Palestinians opened on Tuesday. He said that the mall will serve 120,000 Arab and 90,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem’s northern neighbourhoods, as well as thousands of Palestinians who stream daily into the capital from the northern West Bank.
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Inclusivity

Corporal Bilal Taha, 21, from the Galilee village of Deir al-Asad, is an Israeli Arab who chose to serve in the IDF… “There are many who are not happy with my being a soldier,” he says, “and I don’t know what their reaction would be if I entered the town in uniform.” “There is no difference; only the location, language and the residents’ religion. Judaism and Islam are very similar. A Jerusalem household welcomes you the same way as one in Deir al-Asad.”
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Cyber Attacks

Israel Security Agency head Nadav Argaman said that a foreign state “intends to intervene” through cyberattacks in national elections on April 9. The ISA then said: “The Israel Security Agency wishes to clarify that the State of Israel and the intelligence community have the tools and capabilities to locate, monitor and thwart foreign influence efforts.”
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Iraq

Israel reportedly hosted three delegations of local leaders from Iraq in recent months, 15 Iraqi leaders met with Israeli government officials, academics and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
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Jordan

Following Israel’s condemnation of photos of a Jordanian minister stepping on the Israeli flag in an Amman union building, Jordan’s Professional Unions Association decided to place the Israeli flag in the entrances to all its building. (A peace treaty between Israel & Jordan was signed in 1994)
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HSBC

Last week, HSBC bank wrote to the Jerusalem Post in response to a critical editorial, saying, “HSBC’s decision to divest from Elbit Systems was not the result of campaigning by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…HSBC’s decision was based on our long-standing defence policy whereby we do not invest in companies linked to the production or marketing of cluster munitions.” However, Elbit’s Vice President David Vaknin said the company does not produce cluster bombs. In November, Elbit acquired IMI Systems Ltd., formerly known as Israel Military Industries. Vaknin noted, “As part of the Elbit Systems organization, IMI Systems will not be continuing its prior activities with respect to cluster munitions” and “Elbit Systems [itself] is not engaged in the production of cluster munitions.”
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Malaysia

Malaysia will not allow Israel’s Paralympics swimming team enter the country to participate in the World Para Swimming Championships in July, despite two months of efforts by the Israel Paralympics Committee.
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Kuwait

Kuwait rejected the opportunity to co-host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar (inter alia) because it did not want to comply with FIFA regulations that would have required it to allow all nationalities (including Israelis) to enter the country, according to the Kuwait Football Association President.
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Medical Technology

A new smartphone app – DAS-Deaf Access Solution – has been developed by students at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) to facilitate communication by deaf people without the aid of sign language.
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An Israeli device, the HemaShock, aims to boost CPR survival rates. The device can squeeze approximately one litre of blood out of the limbs into the heart in less than 30 seconds and completely blocks blood flow back into the legs. By comparison, an intravenous blood transfusion for half that quantity would require 15-30 minutes.
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Technology

The patent-pending Coral Manta system by Coral Drowning Detection Systems constantly “watches” and detects movement in private swimming pools using a built-in underwater video camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence technology. When it identifies a potential drowning situation, it sounds an ear-piercing alarm and immediately sends a smartphone alert to all household members. The company said “Coral Manta is not meant to replace adult supervision, but to fill the gap when you are distracted and compensate for our human flaws.”
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The annual Consumer Electronics Show is taking place in Las Vegas. Dozens of Israeli companies are exhibiting their products from flying cars to robots that fold laundry. This article highlights 27 of them.
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Citibank set up its first Fintech Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv in 2011, and has inspired company-wide innovation since its establishment. The Citi Israel CEO said that executives who visit go back “wowed”… ‘one of our global heads came here under a month ago. He was so impressed that when he returned, he was grabbing people and saying ‘you have got to go to Israel and see what’s going on there.’
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The makers of Israel’s Mobileye technology have unveiled their latest product, the OrCam MyMe, a small wearable camera with artificial intelligence that identifies people you meet and acts as a cross between a personal assistant and a memory enhancer.
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Africa

Israeli security experts are building protection strategies for UN employees in Africa, after 60 UN workers were killed in 2017 while performing their duties.
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Brazil

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. has signed an agreement with Brazil’s Santos Lab to use drones and advanced analytics to monitor crops such as soy and sugar cane as well as commercial forestry, generating accurate analysis of crops and soil conditions.
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Philippines

The Philippines and Israel are set to sign on a deal for the purchase of Rafael’s SPYDER medium-range air defence missile system as well as 13 additional Hermes long-range drones from Elbit and two new radar systems from Israel Aerospace Industries.
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Comment & Opinion

Stephen Daisley: This is a story about two people going to jail and the countries sending them there. Both are Palestinians and were sentenced on Monday (31.12.18) in courts.
Jamil Tamimi was sentenced at Jerusalem district court in Israel for the murder of British student Hannah Bladon, 21. On Good Friday 2017, she was riding the Jerusalem light rail to church when Tamimi stabbed her seven times. Tamimi had just been released from a psychiatric hospital and reached a plea bargain with prosecutors on the grounds of mental illness, reducing his sentence from life to 18 years.

Issam Akel did get a life sentence. He was convicted at Ramallah high court in the Palestinian Authority of attempting to sell land to a Jew.

Israel showed leniency to a vulnerable person who committed a horrific crime. The Palestinians showed no mercy to a member of their own population who committed the crime of selling real estate to a Jew. The primary victims of the Arabs’ century-long war against a Jewish homeland have been the Arabs themselves.
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Adam Levick: A Dec. 31 Guardian article suggests that Israel is largely to blame for the shortage of vital medicines in Gaza that is putting the lives of countless Palestinians at risk. But this is a lie. The import of antibiotics, and almost all other important medicines, is not in any way restricted by Israel. It’s actually the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority – and not Israel – that’s responsible for the purchase of medicines for Gaza. But as part of the sanctions it imposed on Hamas in 2017, the PA often fails to send vital drugs to Gaza. The PA-imposed sanctions also includes a major reduction in Gaza’s overall healthcare budget, and a frequent refusal to issue permits to Gaza patients to receive medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank and Arab countries.
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