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Israel Update 10.4.19

A brief round-up as internal Israeli politics, and therefore most Election news, is largely outside the ambit of this Update & is extensively covered elsewhere. HRG

CO-EXISTENCE

 

In a survey published last week by online magazine Sicha Mekomit,76% of Arab respondents and 53% of Jewish respondents said that, in their daily lives, relations between Jews and Arabs are largely positive. Just 13% of Jews and 6% of Arabs said they did not have sufficient contact with the other population group to answer. When Arab respondents were asked whether they recognized a Jewish people alongside the Palestinian people, 94% of Arabs answered approvingly. 46% defined themselves as Arab-Israelis, 22% said they were Arabs, 19% said they were Palestinian-Israelis and 14% defined themselves as only Palestinian.

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The former mayor of Sderot, an Israeli town bordering Gaza, says his town is home to the families of 17 one-time Palestinian collaborators – and the locals are absolutely fine with it.”They use the same names as they had in Gaza,” he said. “They work in our factories. Their children go to the same schools as our children. They feel part of the community.” At least one family is his neighbour. “They helped Israel fight against terrorists in Gaza. Now they feel safe.”

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ATTACKS THWARTED

 

The Jerusalem-based al-Qudsnewspaper reported Sunday that Israeli soldiers arrested a Gazan herding sheep near the security fence. Under interrogation, he told them he was a member of the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, and revealed that the group was planning to abduct either a soldier or a civilian worker constructing the new barrier at the border.

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Israeli forces wounded three Gazans who entered Israel from Gaza carrying knives last week. They were transferred to an Israeli hospital.

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GENERAL ELECTION

 

Israeli startup OrCam, which has developed devices to assist the blind and the visually impaired, will make its technology available at 12 polling stations in Israel on election day on Tuesday, April 9, in a pilot project that enables visually impaired people to vote without the need of an escort for the first time.

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The intercity public transportation service in Israel, both buses and trains, was available to the general public free of charge on election day to facilitate travel for voters residing at a distance from their registered city of citizenship.

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HEALTH

 

A major study at the University of Washington published in The Lancetfound that Israel has the lowest rate of diet-related deaths i.e. the world’s least unhealthy diet. The research tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.

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PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY DEBT TO ISRAEL GROWS

 

An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that aimed to settle old Palestinian debts has unravelled, leaving the Israel Electric Corporation with $222 million of additional Palestinian debt. The growing debt is paid for by Israeli consumers.

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TECHNOLOGY

Israeli company SuperSmart’s supermarket shopping scanning system, which helps prevent theft and mistakes by self-scanning customers, uses cameras, sensors and AI algorithms and is installed at Israeli chain Osher Ad. U.S. giant Walmart has abandoned its own system and is now considering SuperSmart. The company has also made a presentation to the UK’s Sainsbury’s supermarket chain.

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Beijing Capital International Airport, the second busiest airport in the world, has selected Israel’s Xsight Systems’ foreign object debris (FOD) detection solution to improve runway safety. RunWize continuously monitors and detects any forms of debris or other hazards that could interfere with runway operations.

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ARCHAEOLOGY

 

The Israel Antiquities Authority and Ben-Gurion University have discovered archeological evidence of a Jewish town in Beersheba from the Second Temple period, 530 BCE to 70 CE. During the excavation, archeologists found a fragment of a candle decorated with the earliest known depiction of a menorah in art.

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EUROVISION

 

American pop superstar Madonna has been booked to perform at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Tel Aviv next month.

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SPORT

 

Israeli footballer Isaak Hayik has entered the record books after becoming the world’s oldest player to take part in a professional game at the age of 73.He played as goalkeeper for Israeli team Ironi Or Yehuda on Friday afternoon and received the Guinness World Records prize at a ceremony after the match, just days before his 74th birthday.

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MOON LANDING

 

The Beresheet spacecraft successfully completed its second-to-last manoeuvre on Tuesday morning before the moon landing scheduled for Thursday, motoring into a tight orbit around the moon at a height of 200 kilometres (120 miles) above the lunar surface. Viewers will be able to watch the moon landing live on Beresheet’s English Facebook page.click here scheduled between 10 & 11 pm Israel time, 8 & 9 pm British Summer Time.

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COMMENT & OPINION

 

Lawrence J. Haas: Cultural obstacles prevent progress toward peace. As Hamas and Fatah fight one another, the weapon at their disposal to assure their popularity among Palestinians is their continuing efforts to kill Jews. Palestinian factions that compete over who’s more committed to killing Israelis won’t be making peace with Israel any time soon.

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Benjamin Anthony: The EU and UK hypocrisy on Israel’s Golan stance.

They can’t work out Brexit, a deal between peaceful allies, yet they judge us on matters impacting our national survival?

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Sander Gerber: At a closed-door UN Security Council Meeting on March 8, U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt condemned the PA’s continued support for financial payments that incentivize and reward terrorism, known as “pay to slay.” He said: “The Palestinian Authority’s institutionalization of support for terrorism is unacceptableand must be called out” [emphasis in original]. The PA’s refusal to end these programmes, coupled with subsequent funding cuts by the U.S. and Israel, have plunged the PA into a self-manufactured fiscal crisis. In response, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat penned an op-ed in Ha’aretzclaiming that the payments were social welfare. However, in reality, the maximum PA welfare-system payment is only $168 a month, or 57% less than the minimum of $392 a month that the PA pays prisoners and relatives of “martyrs.”

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