Business executives, billionaire investors and Middle East diplomats gathered in Bahrain on Tuesday for a White House-led, two-day “Peace to Prosperity Workshop.” The conference has raised hopes for increased cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbours. Read more here
A Saudi diplomat said: “We and other countries are willing to make enormous investments in this – amounts that the Palestinians never dreamed of getting. If this framework gets going, they will get real independence, good education, employment, a healthy economy, and won’t be dependent on charity. It may be hard for them to relinquish the image of the eternal victim…”He sent a message to Israelis: “This blood conflict has lasted too long. It’s clear to us – the Saudi Arabians, all of the Persian Gulf countries, Egypt, and Jordan – that the era of warfare with Israel has ended, and that the advantages of normal relations are very great.”
Israeli members of the press, the business community and civil society who travelled to Bahrain are being treated like VIPs…Israeli-Bahraini ties, on a personal level have almost looked normal. Read more here
Arson terrorism targeting Israel continues daily
Incendiary devices flown from Gaza into Israel sparked multiple fires on Sunday.
A security coordinator for an affected Israeli community said: “The balloon terrorism has become a major issue in the day-to-day lives of the residents of [these] communities. The ones who pay the heaviest price are the farmers, who see months of labour go up in flames in moments. Massive damage is being caused to the fields and the crops, as well as to agricultural equipment.” Read more here
Gazans continue to terrorise Israel’s civilian population living nearby by sending balloons laden with burning materials across the border, setting off thirteen fires on Monday alone. One landed in a kindergarten. Thankfully it was after four o’clock and the school was empty but had been filled with children just minutes earlier. Some 220 dunams of land were burned. Read more here
Israel announced Tuesday morning that it would cut supplies of fuel to Gaza after a rash of cross-border arson attacks. Read more here
Ten fires flared in Gaza border communities on Tuesday. Read more here
Incendiary balloons launched from Gaza started 19 fires in Israel on Wednesday. Read more here
Syrian army forces are now taking orders from Hizbullah and helping it spy on Israel.A Hizbullah “Southern Headquarters” is currently operating in Syrian territory. Some 20 lookout positions have been set up on the Syrian Golan Heights facing Israeli territory. IHizbullah also uses technology to listen in to communications on the Israeli side.Intelligence is sent to Hizbullah headquarters in Lebanon and/or to the Iranians.
F-35 fighter jets from Israel, the US and the UK conducted training flights over the Mediterranean Sea Tuesday in the Israeli aircraft’s first-ever international exercise, marking a significant show of military cooperation. Read more here
In the UK, NHS patients with lymphoma have for the first time been given a pioneering treatment that genetically re-programmes their immune system to fight cancer. The therapy, CAR-T, is a “living drug” that is tailor-made for each patient using their body’s own cells. Doctors at King’s College Hospital, London, said some patients were being completely cured in a way that had “never been seen before. Read more here
CAR-T was developed by Professor Zelig Eshhar of Israel’s Weizmann Institute. Read more here
The P.A. has stopped making payments to the Israel Electric Corp. for the electricity it receives. Over the years the PA has accumulated a debt of $554 million to the IEC. Read more here
Israeli firm Elbit has started operating the maritime unmanned aerial system (UAS) patrol service available to EU countries under a contract between the European Maritime Safety Agency and a Portuguese company. Iceland is the first EU country to use this long-range UAS patrol service which enables continuous monitoring of vast swathes of sea and long coastlines and effective identification of suspicious activities and potential hazards.
Israel has signed an agreement with the World Bank to assist developing countries in fields including cybersecurity, universal Internet access, harnessing big data and digital government and will provide technical assistance to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Read more here
Eight Israeli firms displayed advanced drones, anti-drone technology, missile systems, radars, and bomb guidance kits with artificial intelligence features at the recent International Paris Air Show. Read more here
The Eviation Alice, an Israeli prototype aircraft, is a small prop plane operating entirely on battery power. According to the company, it is the world’s first all-electric commuter aircraft. Read more here
Israeli aerospace company Rafael unveiled a portable Iron Dome missile defence battery, promising deployed troops the same protection the original system provided for civilian populations.
The new Beijing Daxing International Airport (China) has chosen a technology developed by Israeli startup Xsight Systems to help it improve the safety of its runways by monitoring for debris or hazards. Read more here
Puerto Rican village El Real was devastated by a hurricane and too remote and dangerous for regular aid workers but Israeli aid organization, IsraAID, arrived a week after the 2017 disaster…bringing vital medical aid and water filters. Nearly two years on, IsraAID is still in El Real, putting the finishing touches to an innovative water filtration system that will provide clean water to the village, even if the power goes down. Read more here
Israeli historian Gadi Taub said that the Palestinian leadership should sign on to the U.S. economic development plan and worry about their political status later. They were wrong to reject the $50 billion U.S. blueprint to rebuild the Palestinian economy. “This is five times more than what it took to reconstruct Japan after World War II,” he said. “If they stop sinking money into terror tunnels and corruption, they can have Singapore in Gaza.””I think the one asset the Palestinians are not willing to give up is their misery. They have a leadership that is keeping them at a state of perpetual victimhood…”. Read more here
Alan Dershowitz: If Palestinian leaders were to sit down and negotiate about the proposed U.S. peace plan, they could quickly improve the quality of life of their people. …the leaders seem to care less about helping their people and more about hurting Israel. They seem to want their own state less than they want there not to be a neighbouring nation-state of the Jewish people. Read more here
David Horovitz:The U.S. Peace to Prosperity programme is, in theory, hugely beneficial for the Palestinians, promoting an end to victimhood and a route to empowerment. It sets out a framework for a revolutionary improvement in the daily lives of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It also indicates empathy with Palestinian national aspirations. Read more here
Eugene Kontorovich:The only agenda at this week’s U.S.-led Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain is improving the Palestinian economy. The plan’s 40-page overview contains nothing at odds with the Palestinians’ purported diplomatic goals. Given that, the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to discuss economic opportunities for its own people, even with the Arab states, shows how far it is from discussing the concessions necessary for a diplomatic settlement. Instead it seeks to deepen Palestinian misfortune and use it as a cudgel against Israel in the theatre of international opinion…The Palestinians are perhaps the only national independence movement in the modern era that has ever rejected a genuine offer of internationally recognized statehood, even if it falls short of all the territory the movement had sought…The Palestinians can comfortably turn down once-in-a-lifetime opportunities because almost all Palestinians already live under Palestinian government. The Palestinian Authority cannot be forced to accept a peaceful settlement, but rejectionism must have consequences. Read more here
Evelyn Gordon: The declared aim of the Bahrain conference is merely to drum up investment in the Palestinian economy, primarily from Arab states and the private sector. Thus, if the PA actually wanted to lay the groundwork for a viable state, what it ought to be doing is attending the conference and discussing these proposals…The most astounding part is that the rest of the world, despite insisting that it wants a “viable Palestinian state,” openly condones the PA’s refusal to go to Bahrain. Instead, the rest of the world should be telling the PA that it ought to seize any chance for economic development because without such development, there’s no chance of any future Palestinian state actually being viable. Read more here