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Israel Update 1.5.19


(The date in the Jewish calendar, 27 Nisan, is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)


Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Wednesday evening, 1st May, in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.

Here are their stories




At the new Qalandiya checkpoint in northern Jerusalem, it now takes 5 to 10 minutes for Palestinian workers to cross using biometric permits. “It is substantially better,” said Yousef Jabareen, a butcher in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market. “It used to take about an hour to pass through the old one. Now it only takes a few minutes, which means that I get about an extra hour of sleep.” Israel has invested tens of millions of shekels in constructing the new checkpoint.

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Israeli troops, guarding a group of hikers, opened fire at a pair of Palestinian men who were shooting at the group in the northern West Bank on Monday. One attacker was injured and taken to hospital. The second was arrested. Read more here




The Israel Security Agency announced Sunday that it had foiled a Hamas suicide car bombing attack targeting Maale Adumin and timed for around Israel’s election day. The would-be suicide bomber was arrested.

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Islamic Jihad launched a rocket at Israel from Gaza on Monday evening. The rocket landed in the Mediterranean off the coast of an Israeli city.

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Israeli troops on Saturday shot towards three Gazans as they attempted to sabotage the border fence. Also on Saturday, arson balloons launched from Gaza sparked a fire at HaBesor Stream Nature Reserve in southern Israel. Approximately 7,000 Gazans took part in Hamas-led protests along the border last Friday. They hurled rocks and a number of explosive devices” towards troops, and the IDF responded in accordance with standard procedures.

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On April 23, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights released a fact sheet documenting human rights abuses in Gaza. Between March 1, 2018, and March 1, 2019, the Hamas government security services detained 742 people because of their political affiliations. The numbers would have been even higher, but the project ended just before the recent wave of popular protests against poor economic conditions in Gaza – during which the security services arrested hundreds more protesters.

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Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence, discussed the Palestinian Authority’s latest economic crisis on Israeli TV on Monday: He said: “Israel wants the PA to stop supporting terror. That’s why the money that the PA uses to pay the salaries of terrorists or their families is being deducted from the funds Israel transfers to them. And they’re nice salaries too, that grow according to the severity of the terrorist attack…Israel’s interest is that the PA survives financially, not in a manner in which they will encourage terror, but the opposite. (We want them to) uphold their commitments outlined in the Oslo Accords and according to international law, which is to fight terror, not encourage it. The PA supports terror. It pays 1.27 billion shekels yearly to terrorists and their families. The main point.. is not the 40 million shekels that Israel is withholding from the PA. The Americans withheld 1 billion shekels from the Palestinians, based on U.S. unwillingness to transfer money to the PA while it encourages terrorism. If the Palestinians stop encouraging and financing terror, then the funds being withheld will… return to them, since Israel does not withhold the funds simply to make the Palestinians miserable.”

Video in Hebrew




“We are there to protect Israel’s border communities and deal with any threats that may arise,” says Lt.-Col. Nader Eyada, commander of a unique IDF unit composed of Muslims and Christians from Arab communities. Most of the soldiers are Muslims, including Bedouin, as well as some Christians.

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The number of Israeli Arab students studying for undergraduate degrees in engineering and computer science has doubled in six years, the Council for Higher Education reported on Monday. The number of Arab university students in general has risen by 80% since 2011. A spokesman for the Council said: “The impressive figures testify to the great success of the revolution in making higher education accessible in Arab society,”

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Israeli company Healthy.io, Dip.io uses a smartphone and a dipstick to perform urine tests that can detect ten indicators of disease, infection, and pregnancy-related complications. In clinical trials undertaken in the process of receiving(US) FDA approval, Dip.io was capable of matching the accuracy of professional laboratories, at a considerably lower cost and less inconvenience to the patient.

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Medasense Biometrics, has developed a portable pain sensor that can tell doctors how much pain a patient is feeling and how much pain care they need. Using artificial intelligence algorithms and real-time data, the company’s easy-to-use system is already changing precision medicine, allowing for personalized and optimized pain care to ensure that the patient doesn’t get too many opioids.

Read more here




“We have attained the ability to intercept kites, and we also have very good capabilities for the threat of incendiary balloons,” said the commander of the Israeli army’s Matmon unit – dedicated to R&D for IDF ground forces. New capabilities include a smart rifle sight for assault rifles carried by soldiers that makes it possible to accurately strike targets moving at high speed. The Pegion sight is an electro-optic system that makes it possible to follow a moving target. It calculates when to shoot so that the first bullet strikes the target accurately. It will not allow the soldier to shoot if it does not identify that there will be an accurate hit.

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Food and beverage maker Mondelez International, the manufacturer of  Oreos and Toblerone, will collaborate with Israel’s tech incubator The Kitchen to tap into Israeli food tech scene. With 12 portfolio companies, The Kitchen nurtures and invests in technology startups in the food sector

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With tens of thousands of tourists expected to attend the Eurovision song contest in Israel next month, an Israeli startup Order.Chat is set to help them patronize local restaurants through a website that offers users a free chat-based table reservation service in English and in Hebrew. Using the website, diners “can easily place a reservation via chat at any restaurant, in less than 60 seconds and without making any phone calls.”

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Israel will take part in the 2020 World Expo in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, in another sign of warming relations with Gulf Arab states.





The New York Times on Saturday acknowledged publishing a caricature in its international edition that it said “included anti-Semitic tropes” and called its use an “error of judgment.”. (See Comment article below)

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Bret Stephens: Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign. The image also had an obvious political message: Namely, that in the current administration, the United States follows wherever Israel wants to go. This is false – consider Israel’s horrified reaction to Trump’s announcement last year that he intended to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria – but it’s beside the point. There are legitimate ways to criticize Trump’s approach to Israel, in pictures as well as words. But there was nothing legitimate about this cartoon…The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry.

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Tom Gross, the author of this piece (extract below), wrote “I could not find a British publication to print it, even online, without their insistence that factual inaccuracies were first injected into it. It may instead be published by an American news outlet on Monday.”

Of course, no country is perfect. But Israel does relatively well. Just this month, Israelis elected Druze, Muslim, vegan and openly gay candidates representing parties of both right and left to the 120-seat Knesset. Arabs are prominent in almost all walks of life—from Israeli-Arab Supreme Court judge Salim Joubran, who sentenced former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert to jail for bribery in 2016, to Israeli-Arab TV presenter Lucy Ayoub who will co-host next month’s Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv. Some Israeli Arabs also serve in the Israeli army.

Other countries that far-left activists in the United States (and Britain) don’t single out for opprobrium have far more draconian polices. In Denmark, for example, as The New York Times reported last year:

“Starting at the age of 1, ‘ghetto children’ must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in ‘Danish values,’ including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and the Danish language.’ ”

O’Rourke, Sanders and other candidates haven’t accused such countries of having “racist” governments. Why? Read more here