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Israel Update 28.11.19

 Israeli domestic politics remain outside the scope of this Update hence no coverage of the Netanyahu indictment which has been amply reported by other media sources. H.R.G.


An Israel Rescue and Service team are continuing their search for survivors in the city of Durres, following a 6.4 on the Richter Scale earthquake that shook Albania  on Monday and resulted in at least 26 dead, more than 650 injured and dozens more still missing. This was the strongest earthquake to hit Albania in decades and it is feared that it may be the deadliest as well. Read more here



Terrorists fired two rockets at southern Israel on Tuesday night, as Palestinians marked a “day of rage” in response to a recent statement by the United States regarding Israeli settlements. One projectile was shot down by the Iron Dome missile defence system. The second appeared to strike an open field in Israel. An Israeli woman was lightly injured when she fell while running to a bomb shelter.    Read more here


The IDF launched airstrikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza late Tuesday night and early Wednesday in response. A number of targets in southern Gaza, including one arms production site were hit. Read more here


A video taken by an Israeli mother of four from Ashkelon shows her children shaking in a bomb shelter as they refused to leave it after rocket sirens were sounded on Tuesday night. Read more here


Gazan terrorists fired a mortar shell at southern Israel Monday evening, striking an open field. Read more here

A shell from an Egyptian tank hit the dining hall of a yeshiva in a community located only a few km west of Egypt and south of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Damages were reported, but no injuries. The IDF said that the episode was probably an accident. Similar episodes had previously affected the area. About two months ago, another Egyptian shell damaged a vehicle. Read more here



In a remarkable breakthrough that could pave the way toward carbon-neutral fuels, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have produced genetically engineered bacteria that can live on carbon dioxide rather than sugar. The extraordinary leap could lead to the low-emissions production of carbon for use in biofuels or food that would also help to remove excess CO₂ from the atmosphere, where it is helping to drive global warming.  Read more here₂/



After a break of more than a decade, Bolivia will renew ties with Israel, following the departure of former president Morales.          Read more here



An AFP photograph appearing on the Nov. 15 front-page of the International New York Times was captioned: “An Israeli missile streaking over Gaza City this week.” However, an Israeli missile expert maintained that the picture shows a Gazan rocket being fired at Israel. Read more here




The UN General Assembly adopted an Israeli-led resolution on Tuesday promoting agricultural technologies for development.147 countries voted in favour. Arab League countries, which usually vote automatically against Israeli resolutions, abstained.                Read more here



Dozens of representatives of Arab civil society from 15 countries gathered in London last week for a remarkable two-day conference calling for the end of Israel’s isolation in the Arab world. The Arab Council for Regional Integration, has repudiated the BDS movement, asserting that efforts to prevent normalization between their respective nations and Israel have caused more harm than good. Read more here


Arab journalists and bloggers, invited by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, from the Gulf and Iraq took part in a series of meetings and events in Israel this week. The visit marks the latest development in growing ties between Israel and the Arab world. In March, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt rejected a statement by the Union of Arab Parliaments calling for an end to normalization with Israel.              Read more here


The delegation, which toured the country for five days, also included two musicians from Iraq. This is the second such delegation in four months. A Saudi journalist said in reference to the Palestinians that he did not understand why there had to be problems with Israel because of a “small minority” who had refused the opportunity to create a state in 1947 because they were busy asking why Jews should have an independent state. As to why they were not willing to go public, an Israeli spokesman said that their reply was that the Arab street is not yet ready for open ties with Israel, Read more here




Arab Israeli Islamic cleric Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel which was banned in 2015 over links to terror groups, was convicted Sunday of incitement to terrorism over a 2017 speech in which he praised three Arab Israelis who shot dead two Israeli Druse police officers at the Temple Mount. Salah has previously been convicted on a number of occasions for terror charges. Read more here

(Some years ago, Salah received support from a British MP when the then Home Secretary sought to ban him.) Read more here




Tel Aviv has been named one of the most popular vacation destinations for 2020 by BA. Andrew Brem, BA’s global commercial was in Israel recently for the inauguration of a new aircraft, the Airbus a350-1000, on the Tel Aviv-London route.  Read more here




The Israeli government is being urged to take “emergency” action to stop what is said to be yet another Palestinian example of destroying remnants of the ancient Land of Israel. The latest case involves an antiquity site in Samaria which is being used as an auto parts junkyard, threatening to erase archaeological finds, roughly ranging between 27 B.C.E. and 476 C.E. Read more here




9 Israeli technologies are included in this year’s  TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions, which rank those that have made the world “better, smarter and even a little more fun.” The noteworthy Israeli nine are listed here: Read more here




A new chemotherapy method developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem could reduce the side effects of cancer treatment by delivering the chemo drugs directly to cancerous cells while bypassing the healthy ones. In practice, this could allow doctors to reduce the chemo dosage, thus also lessening side effects. Read more here


Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology and Bar-Ilan University have developed technology they hope will help inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Nanochips ferry ‘neural growth factor’ — which combats neurodegenerative diseases — and releases it where needed, overcoming the blood-brain barrier Read more here


Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a new technology for sampling tissues without the pain and risk of biopsy tests.  The innovative method is based on the technique of electroporation, the application of high voltage pulsed electric fields to tissues, to sample intracellular fluids only and not whole tissue. The new method does not damage the tissue and can detect the presence of a tumour in an organ even when the exact location of the tumour is unknown. Read more here


Zebra Medical Vision, a startup that uses artificial intelligence technology to help read medical scans, has received its FDA clearance for a device to help identify water in the lungs. Zebra  has also received FDA clearances for a product that detects coronary calcium, an AI chest X-ray product, and software to detect brain bleeds.  Read more here




A boot-mounted sensor from Tel Aviv-based PlayerMaker, which tracks soccer players’ movement to build an accurate “gait profile,” is helping Argentina’s Olympic football squad prepare and train for next year’s games in Japan. Read more here


Jordanian and Iranian athletes refused to compete against Arab-Israeli kickboxer Ameer Asad at the World Kickboxing Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday. Read more here




Oren Helman: How many times have we heard that, “as a result of rocket fire, several people were treated for anxiety” during the attacks from Gaza?  How many times have we sighed a sigh of relief and thanked God there were no wounded? The truth is, those treated for anxiety are also wounded, some will also carry Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a scar. None of us can truly understand what goes on in the very soul of a person, what the consequences are for a kid living in a reality that includes constant rocket sirens, rocket bombardments, live fire, explosions and running to find shelter. Read more here


Daniel Gordis:  As long as the Palestinians insist that they are committed to destroying Israel, why would any sane Israeli depart the West Bank without guarantees that Hamas will not take over that territory, too, turning it into another Gaza? Our conversation about making the situation better would be infinitely more useful if we spoke about the Palestinians and their role in this mess at least as much as we speak about the Israelis. Those who know anything about Israel know that there are very, very few Israelis who proclaim “end the occupation now.” Read more here


Bret Stephens: As a matter of survival, Israel requires that a Palestinian state have neither the ambition nor the means to devote itself to Israel’s destruction. The core problem with the past half-century of failed peacemaking efforts has been the facile assumption that meeting the need for two states would ultimately fulfill Israel’s requirement for security. The lesson of experience has been the opposite… Peace, if it comes, will not be the result of a legal argument over the Geneva Convention. It will happen when a new generation of Palestinian leaders dedicate themselves to building up the institutions of a decent state rather than attacking those of their neighbour.   Read more here