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Israel Update 7.3.19



Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a predawn car-ramming attack in the West Bank on Monday, one of them seriously, the army said. The force opened fire on the three occupants of the vehicle, killing two and wounding the third. Read more here


The car-ramming attack on Monday involved three Palestinians. The one who was wounded but survived told his interrogators that he and his two friends were driving back from a different attempted terror attack – throwing firebombs on Route 443 – the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Read more here




In response to a cluster of balloons attached to an incendiary device that was launched from Gaza toward Israel, on Saturday evening the Israeli army said its aircraft fired at targets in southern Gaza. Read more here


A bunch of balloons carrying explosives came down between two buildings in Israel and exploded. The IDF attacked Hamas positions in response on Monday, the fourth retaliatory airstrike against the terror group in the past three days. Read more here


Two explosive devices attached to bunches of balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and detonated above an Israeli community. Similar devices were also flown into Israel on Tuesday. Recent weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the level of violence along the Gaza border, with near-nightly riots involving attacks on Israeli soldiers and a return of airborne bomb and arson attack

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Gazans fired at least one mortar shell at southern Israel on Wednesday, triggering Israeli air defences.

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In response to the increasing threat posed by improved Hamas rockets, the IDF Home Front Command has instructed that all new homes being built in the Israeli communities adjacent to Gaza would contain a reinforced security room with walls 40 cm. thick instead of 25 cm.

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The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said last Thursday: “Israel utterly rejects the report published by the Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council. This report  (is) a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started…Hamas has declared war on Israel and calls to kill Jews. Hamas is orchestrating the attacks and using civilians in Gaza as human weapons to assault Israel and Israeli civilians. Hamas exploits the civilians in Gaza as human shields for terrorists. Israel has responded with restrained action taken only in defence of our civilian population. IDF procedures on the border accord with international law and the standards of other militaries worldwide. Independent military experts have affirmed this..Israel will continue to defend its citizens from these attacks, despite the Council’s sentiment that Israel has no right to defend its borders. Read more here


NGO Monitor: On Feb. 28, the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the riots along the Israel-Gaza border alleged that “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law…and may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”The COI largely erases the dimension of Palestinian violence along the Gaza border, as well as Hamas’ leading role in orchestrating the attacks. The COI ignored and minimized the use of guns, firebombs, stones, burning tyres, and incendiary kites, as well as the exploitation of children to perpetrate these acts, reconstituting the riots as “peaceful protests.”The COI was established by the …UN Human Rights Council, a body controlled by dictatorships and authoritarian regimes and known for extreme anti-Israel bias.

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U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt attacked the UNHRC report on Gaza in a series of tweets. “This report is another manifestation of the UNHRC’s clear bias against Israel. Hamas behaved with reckless irresponsibility [and] disregard for human life when it incited VIOLENT protests, breaches [and] attacks at the Gaza fence-line. Hamas is directly responsible for the miserable situation of the people of Gaza.” Meanwhile, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn renewed his call for a British arms embargo against Israel.

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The Israel Export Institute on Monday held a conference in which the most contemporary trends in the field of food-tech and agro-tech were presented. Israeli startups present their most revolutionary solutions to the increasing shortage of food, products and land as the world’s population continues to grow.  Read more here



Forty-five people, all entrepreneurs but otherwise having little in common, gathered last week at the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa, set to take part in the second round of a one-of-a-kind pre-accelerator program aptly named Starting Up Together. The goal of the initiative is to foster multicultural cooperation and entrepreneurial support for Israelis who come from different backgrounds, many of them from the geographic and economic periphery of the nation, 53% are Arab Israelis and 47%are Jews. Read more here



A cardiologist at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan performed what the hospital is calling a “first in the world” heart procedure this week by plugging a bleeding hole in the artery of a 29-year-old patient using a device that is usually used to unblock arteries.  Read more here


Israeli biopharmaceutical company Kadimastem hopes to revolutionize diabetes treatment and make needles a thing of the past for insulin-dependent patients by creating an in-body device that creates insulin on its own.

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Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd. has developed a medical device SpinCare,which can dress burns and other wounds with nano materials that mimic human tissue and peel off once the skin below is regenerated. The temporary and transparent skin layer that the device generates can be applied without touching the charred skin, helping prevent infections.

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For Syrian refugees in Greece, Israel is no longer the enemy. Greek refugee aid centres are mainly operated by Israelis; in Lesbos there is an Israeli school for Syrian, Iranian, Iraqi and Afghanrefugees.

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Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport, is a modern edifice that stands in stark contrast to its vast desert surroundings. Those who fly into Israel’s new airport, will see what the country hopes to accomplish in the 21st century: a forward-thinking approach to living within the confines of a harsh desert. Read more here


The first international flight, a Ryanair plane from Poland, landed on Monday.  Read more here



Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram (19) won three gold medals Sunday at the Grand Prix Marbella in Spain, scooping up top honours in the hoop, clubs, and ribbons competitions. Read more here






Tom Rogan:… judged against the abundant evidence of Hamas malfeasance at the border last year, that single recognition  (of Hamas) is clear evidence of the report’s bias. Not only did Hamas fighters use civilians as human shields, and as propaganda during those showdowns at the border, the group did so repeatedly and deliberately…this report deserves no serious attention. It is what it is: another crystal clear example of the absurdity that is the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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Former IDF Deputy Military Advocate General Col. Eli Baron:This is what people in the world don’t understand. What would happenif they the Gazan rioters) cut the fence and reached Israeli communities a kilometre or two kilometres away? If we don’t stop the mob in time, they will storm houses. Some might only damage or loot them. But dozens of these people are Hamas terrorists who, once they get the opportunity, will kill Israelis. This is lost on the world.

One example of this is the principle of distinction in international law, which holds that there must be a separation between combatants and civilians. Our adversaries do exactly the opposite. They deliberately disguise their combatants as civilians and launch attacks using human shields to protect their combatants. This gives them greater freedom of operation, and it is also an attempt to get us to harm their civilians, which then gives them points against us in the court of global public opinion. This is how they try to cut down our military advantage. Only an organization that does not care about the lives of its civilians can act this way.

Hamas turned private homes into command and control centres. It hid weapons in homes. They had no problem hiding missiles in the basements and rooms of homes with children inside. This is their modus operandi. We know this also exists in Lebanon.

Hezbollah’s arsenal of approximately 120,000 to 130,000 rockets and missiles is mostly concealed in civilian residential buildings in Lebanon, as well as in sites like medical clinics, meaning that any future war will place Israel in a very difficult situation.

We need to protect the Israeli civilian population, and we will do that. On the other hand, we need to conduct operations in a way that minimizes harm to civilians on the other side. This is very hard to do when the enemy uses its civilians to protect their weapons. We use our weapons to protect our civilians; they do the opposite.

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Nadav Shragai: In 1967, there was only one functioning mosque on the Temple Mount – the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Golden Gate compound will be the fifth mosque that the Muslims have established at the site. There is no basis for constant Muslim protests against Israel for violating the status quo on the Temple Mount. It is the Muslims who have been eroding the status quo there over the past three decades.

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Moshe Dann: Although Muslims claim the Golden/Mercy Gate as a Muslim shrine, the gate was built during the Second Temple period. It is the most important gate of the Temple Mount because through it, the High Priest on Yom Kippur led the red heifer to be sacrificed on the Mount of Olives and the goat of Azazel was led into the wilderness of the Judean Desert….Turning historical and holy sites of other religions into mosques does not erase history.

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