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Israel Update 13.2.20



Another week of almost daily attacks by Gazan terrorists on Israeli civilians by launching rockets & mortars into Israel and also using explosive devices attached to colourful balloons. The attacks included six airborne explosive devices landed in Israel last Friday, one carrying a warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade.  The IDF Home Front Command has released a poem for children warning them against the dangers of the balloon-borne bombs. Titled “What does the wind bring with it?”, the poem tells children to call an adult and run away if they see a suspicious object. Some devices have been disguised as books and footballs. Read more here and here and here and here and here


PM  Netanyahu on Tuesday threatened Hamas leaders with “the surprise of their lives” if the spate of attacks didn’t end. Minutes later, yet another rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel’s south. Read more here


Hamas last week stole state-of-the-art communications equipment provided by Israel to the Palestinian Authority for non-military use in Gaza, seizing it to improve its military communications system, including the tunnels.The theft was from the Gaza warehouses of the Palestinian media giant Paltel, which provides cellular, wired and internet services. In the past month, Israel also permitted the entry of heavy mechanical equipment to deal with flood damage, which Hamas is now using to build fortifications. Read more here



Israel’s Elbit Systems has been selected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to conduct maritime demonstration flights in the UK using a number of its unmanned aerial surveillance systems.Elbit’s Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol enables persistent monitoring of vast swathes of sea and long coastlines with effective advanced search capabilities to support with valuable search and rescue work as well as the identification of potential hazards.” Read more here




An Israeli-developed drone defence system successfully intercepted multiple targets and shot them down with a laser beam.Aerospace company Rafael’s Drone Dome C-UAS was also able to track and hit small drones that were maneuvering in flight, a more challenging target.Read more here


The Australian Defence Force has selected the Rafael Spike LR2 missile system as its new Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability to target contemporary armoured threats. Read more here



The office of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet released an unprecedented blacklist of companies doing business with Israelis living in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and other areas over the 1949 Green (armistice) line.  Executive Director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer said “Dictatorships initiated this blacklist not because they care about human rights, but to divert attention from serial rights abuses committed by council members like Venezuela, Libya, and DR Congo, by scapegoating (Israel),” adding “Doing business in disputed territories has never been prohibited under international law, nor, until today, subject to a UN blacklist. For example, the EU has business and financial dealings in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara and in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus,” “Curiously, out of more than 100 territorial disputes in the world today, including in Tibet, Kashmir, Crimea, Western Sahara and Northern Cyprus, the UN chose only to blacklist companies doing business in Israel’s disputed territories.”   Read more here  and see this




A former leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has warned that Iran is just looking for an excuse to attack Israel and “raze Tel Aviv to the ground,” Read more here




Israel’s Arava region – from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea – is about to be powered 100% during the day by the sun.That includes Eilat, all the hotels, factories, homes, businesses, kibbutzim and air conditioning.By 2025, the sun will also power all nighttime electricity needs. Read more here



Israel will install a water control system in maximum security wings in its prisons  to fight intentional water waste by Palestinian terrorist prisoners.Thesesecurity prisoners had wasted hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water on purpose by leaving their showers running for hours to attack Israel’s water supply. Read more here



Ten years ago an earthquake devastated Haiti. Now an international team of burn surgeons led by medical professionals from two Israeli institutions have set up the first pediatric laser to treat disfiguring burns scars in children in Haiti. Thirty surgeons, nurses and therapists from six Haitian and Dominican Republic hospitals were trained to use this and other state-of-the-art techniques for treating pediatric burns. Read more here



In Sudan, more people support normalizing ties with Israel than those who don’t. Sudan’s former deputy prime minister Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi, said that opposing normalization with Israel is “irrational,” especially since the Palestinians themselves had normalized their ties with Israel after the Oslo Accords. He noted that Palestinians deal with Israel in electricity and customs, and that a large number are working in Israel.
Read more here


Israeli tech startup RightHear has built a system for visually impaired users specifically for indoor places such as malls, hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, museums, and universities and currently operates Inver 1,000 locations worldwide.  Read more here




In the week of Tu B’Shevat, when Jews celebrated the “New Year for Trees”, a report of how Israeli researchers have grown new date plants from 2,000-year-old seeds Read more here




Israeli startup Sonovia Ltd. (mentioned in this Update 2 weeks ago) has sent samples of its anti-pathogen, anti-bacterial fabric to labs in China for testing.  The technology mechanically infuses metal oxides nanoparticles onto textiles during an ultrasonic-assisted impregnation process with the specialized chemical compound turning the textiles into highly effective blocks against bacteria and fungi. The company is now validating the efficacy of this technology for viruses. Read more here




Members of PA President Abbas’ delegation to the UN said that withdrawing their draft resolution opposing the U.S. peace plan stemmed from “a lack of international support for the Palestinians’ claims. “Of the 14 member states [on the Security Council], we had five who supported the draft resolution that was submitted. We chose not to humiliate ourselves and pulled the draft.”Read more here




Khaled Abu Toameh: Some of the leaders of the Arab citizens of Israel, particularly a number of Knesset members, have been acting against the interests of their constituents. It is almost as if these purported leaders represent the PA and Hamas instead of the Arab Israelis who voted for them with the hope that they would work to solve problems confronting their communities, such as unemployment.

What the Arab citizens of Israel need now is to elect new leaders who will promote coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel, and not engage in anti-Israel rhetoric and actions.  Read more here


Boaz Bismuth: The U.S. plan…has created a new paradigm by which Palestinian nationalism must first and foremost be good for future Palestinian citizens. The plan presents specific goals and metrics that Palestinians must meet including values of human rights, the rule of law, and refraining from killing Jews – basic criteria that every country should uphold. If these conditions are rejected by the Palestinians, meaning they will not commit to establishing good governance and fighting terrorist organizations, then negotiations are not feasible to begin with…Arab Israelis were presented with a choice: Which side do you wish to belong to – the “Israeli occupation” or the “future state of Palestine”? They clearly prefer to be part of Israel. This proves to what extent Arab Israelis do not trust the Palestinian leadership to provide them with the security and quality of life they enjoy as Israeli citizens. Read more here


Malcolm Hoenlein: The Palestinians say they don’t like the deal. Fine. Go to the table and negotiate it out….Everywhere we’d go in the Arab world you’d hear that they’re tired of the issue. They want to have relations with Israel. They think this is a big drain on them.” Read more here


Yossi Kuperwasser and Sander Gerber:…the PA itself… has proved to be deeply corrupt, incompetent, and undemocratic in the eyes of the people it purports to represent. The new U.S. peace plan, unlike any previous plan, tells the Palestinian Authority that if it does not choose to change in the coming four years, the U.S., Israel, and the pragmatic Arabs are not going to wait any longer and will not enable the PA to have veto power over their will to move forward. Read more here


Abdel Moneim Said: Choosing the negotiating path on the basis of the proposed plan offers the Palestinians the opportunity to improve many of that plan’s conditions. Read more here