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Israel Update 27.2.20



In an unprecedented statement on Wednesday, Israel’s Health Ministry urged Israelis to seriously consider refraining from travelling abroad as more countries announced they had identified cases of the virus. Israel has banned the entry of any foreigners who have been to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand Singapore, South Korea Japan and Italy in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Israel. All Israeli citizens returning from those countries must self-quarantine for 14 days. The Health Ministry Director General said that the ministry preferred to take harsher measures now rather than be sorry later.   Read more her and Read more here


Israel’s BATM Advanced a provider of real-time tech for networking solutions and medical laboratory systems, announced that it has developed a quick and accurate diagnostics kit for the novel coronavirus. The kit will allow laboratories to detect whether a patient has the virus in approximately 25 minutes.   Read more here


Israeli researchers claim they have developed a vaccine against the coronavirus for poultry and are only three months away from testing a vaccine on humans.  The research team from the Galilee Research Institute, (Migal) which specializes in the fields of biotechnology, environmental and agricultural science, have been developing the vaccine for the past four years and claim it could be modified for use in humans within three months because of a similar DNA structure in the coronavirus.  Read more here


An Israeli man who returned from Italy has tested positive for COVID-19, the first case in which an infection has been diagnosed in Israel outside of a hospital quarantine. Read more here


9 South Koreans tested positive for the coronavirus when they returned home after a recent visit to Israel. Read more here


Some 200 Israeli students and teachers were ordered to self-quarantine after coming into contact with the South Korean group.      Read more here


Some 1,700 Israelis are currently under some form of quarantine to ensure they were not exposed to the coronavirus, Israel’s Channel 12 reports. Read more here




Context: On Sunday, two Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists trying to plant explosives on the Gaza security fence were shot and killed by the IDF. Read more here


On Sunday and Monday, PIJ fired 90 rockets at Israel from Gaza. 90% of those heading toward populated areas were intercepted by the IDF’s Iron Dome system. In response, Israel launched multiple retaliatory air raids against Islamic Jihad bases in Gaza, as well as an airstrike on a squad as it was preparing to launch rockets. There was some damage to homes and infrastructure in Israel, and some Israelis sustained minor injuries while running to bomb shelters. Read more here


A rocket hit a playground in Sderot. 2 minute video showing the damage. View here


Israeli civilians under attack – 1 min 16 sec video. View here


In response, the IDF struck PIJ targets in Syria and Gaza. A strike on a PIJ compound in Syria targeted a site where the group conducts research and development of weapons and manufactures fuel used in solid-propellant rockets.  Read more here


Analysis by Ron Ben Yishai: With the latest round of rocket fire, PIJ is seeking to prevent any long-term agreement between Hamas and Israel. In addition to seeking to conduct a holy war to destroy Israel, PIJ is also motivated by its need for financial assistance from its Iranian sponsors. Tehran has instructed the PIJ and other Iranian proxies to increase their terror activity… Hamas understands that PIJ is intent on disrupting any agreement that will lead to calm but is unable to stop it.Read more here


The EU’s ambassador to Israel said “Indiscriminate firing of rockets on civilian population is totally unacceptable and must stop,” The German Ambassador to Israel said, “We condemn the rocket attacks by PIJ in the strongest possible terms. Read more here


After two days of almost constant rocket fire, life in Israel began to return to normal Tuesday after a ceasefire with PIJ appeared to hold. Schools remained closed as a precaution.  Read more here




A balloon apparently carrying the warhead of a rocket-propelled grenade was found near a house in Ashkelon last Friday morning. Read more here




Israel’s Technion team has developed a novel water-from-air system using desiccants. The standalone platform is energy-efficient, works even in off-grid, desert areas, effectively filters out pollutants and kills bacteria.The  new system, H-to-all,  is ideal for small, isolated communities that are far from natural water sources.Read more here




Tens of millions of pounds of UK foreign aid is helping fund Palestinian schools in Gaza and the West Bank that use textbooks on martyrdom and radical Islamism…Ten-year-olds learn the most important thing is giving their life for “sacrifice, fight, jihad, and struggle.” The British aid money is sent via UNRWA. During the past five years, the UK has given 330 million pounds and pledged another 65 million pounds for this year. Read more here


British officials have pledged to urgently review the tens of millions of dollars in aid the UK provides to UNWRA, after an investigative report found that a majority of the funds have been going to schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip which use textbooks that incite violence against Israelis.  Read more here




In Jerusalem, a knife-wielding Palestinian running towards Border Policemen shouting “Allah Akbar.” failed to stop when ordered to do so and was shot on Saturday.. A passerby sustained a leg injury, probably from a bullet ricochet. Read more here


An East Jerusalem woman who  attempted to stab passers-by at the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem on Friday, was arrested. A man suffered mild injuries. Read more here


Israeli Police seized seven pipe bombs from a home in Hebron during a search for weapons. Four Palestinians at the scene were arrested. Read more here




Israel-founded urban mobility app Moovit has  reached its 100th country the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The app now services 720 million users in over 3,100 cities on six continents.Read more here




An Israeli cycling team raced through Dubai on Sunday, taking part in the UAE Tour for the first time in the latest overture between the two countries, which have no diplomatic relations. Read more here




Tel Aviv is Number 9 on Trip Advisor’s list of world “trending destinations. Read more here




Prof. Hillel Frisch: a senior Hamas official said recently that $78 million of Qatari money has so far been disbursed in Gaza to 70,000 families…The problem is that when one adds up all the specific funds to all the targeted populations of Gaza’s poor that he claims were distributed, nearly 80% are unaccounted for. Read more here


Yaakov Lappin: For months, the Israeli government has tried to reach new truce understandings with Hamas in Gaza. But Hamas is unable or unwilling to constrain Islamic Jihad, the second-largest armed faction in Gaza. Hamas has not abandoned its long-term ideology of destroying Israel, but the Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar is said to have concluded that a war at this time would threaten his own regime….Hamas is not able to provide assurances that rockets will stop terrorizing Israeli civilians, or that balloons with grenades tied to them will stop appearing over Israeli towns. It has not visibly decreased its attempts to orchestrate terror squads from the West Bank. Israel cannot sit indefinitely on the side as residents of Sderot have a mere 15 seconds to find shelter. While Israel recognizes the need to improve the quality of life for Gazans who live under the rule of terror factions that use them as human shields, it cannot give in to terrorists or allow armed attacks on Israeli communities to pass unanswered. Read more here


Ben-Dror Yemini: Every time Jerusalem decides to embark on a military operation in (Gaza), it finds its military superiority over Gaza’s terrorist factions cancelled by a wave of shrieking reporters and pundits as soon as the first brutal images of war surface…The Gaza factions continued their campaign against Israel using inexpensive rockets that cost massive amounts of money to counter. How has this military superpower, in comparison to the terror groups, become so helpless? One explanation is that the free world only calls out Hamas when Israel is under fire, but as soon as Jerusalem decides to respond militarily the condemnations immediately do an about-face. Defeating Islamic terror is considered legitimate anywhere else in the world, but what the United States and NATO can do, Israel cannot – even when fighting a racist jihadist group that controls the entire Gaza Strip. Read more here


Bassam Tawil: Thanks to the current leaders in the PA and Hamas, the Palestinian people are sunk in abysmal living conditions. Poverty, unemployment, and repression have been their lot for decade after decade. This is because the PA and Hamas have repeatedly rejected peace plans that offer prosperity to the Palestinians.  (Contrast the situation of ) the two million Arab citizens of Israel. ..An example can be seen in Arraba, a town of 26,000 located in the Galilee where there are “400 physicians the highest number of physicians [per capita] in the world.”…the number of female physicians in the town is higher than that of males. Such stories of Arab success tend to be ignored by the international media and community. If  (these individuals)  were living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and complaining about Israel every day, they would have received the attention of the entire world.                 Read more here


A French-Moroccan professor said earlier this month in an interview with an Arabic TV station that the Arab world’s attitude toward Israel is “archaic,” and that Iran is the primary threat to the region.Prof. Youssef Chiheb commended Israel’s relationship with Morocco, and noted that the two countries have shared intelligence in the past.  Read more here/


An account by “Judean Rose” of her family’s life in Southern Israel “between the rockets”. How does a child come to grips with people who shoot things at you, bringing on a whole set of scary events: sirens, booms, running into safe rooms or shelters or stairwells …or the happiness of a birthday party, or in the case of my grandson, a cancelled party, the cancelling of happiness and what should have been a happy time, which is now instead, a scary time that makes you shake.Read more here