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Israel Update 11.6.20



As at Thursday morning, the total number of active cases in Israel is 2,947. The number of fatalities has sadly risen to 300. The number of patients in serious condition now stands at 29, with 24 people needing ventilator support.  Read more here


As at Wednesday, 248 children and educational staff had been diagnosed with coronavirus as the nationwide spike in cases continued. Nearly 24,000 students and staff were quarantined with 139 schools, and daycare centres closed.  Read more here


On Tuesday, stepped-up enforcement of social distancing rules was ordered, including giving city officials the power to join police in enforcing mask wearing and rules against large gatherings.  A day earlier, the government decided to freeze plans for a further easing of restrictions that would have allowed trains and concert venues to open. The number of active virus cases has surged to just under 3,000, after having dipped below 2,000 last month. Read more here


Since March, Sheba Medical Centre has used five HoloLens 2 headsets to train 60 physicians, biomedical engineers and nurses on how to operate ventilators for Covid-19 patients. The headset can also be used as a way for doctors in other parts of the hospital to give remote assistance without needing to be physically present.    Read more here  (paywall)




A team of Tel Aviv doctors has found that 40% of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients have the same pattern of indirect cardio damage; their discovery should help better understanding of the disease. Read more here




Israel has inaugurated its first production line for N95 masks in Sderot, hoping to produce two million per month. N95 masks are medical grade masks with a filtering capacity of 95%.  Read more here




A team of Israeli researchers at Bar-Ilan University  have identified short amino acid sequences – often referred to as the “building blocks of life” – that could help develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus and which they believe could stop the next outbreak. Read more here




Israel last week donated a shipment of wheelchairs to Ecuador to help in the recovery of patients with Covid-19. Read more here




A direct flight from Abu Dhabi landed in Israel for the second time on Tuesday night, carrying a second shipment of medical supplies to assist the Palestinians in coping with the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the first flight last month, the Dreamliner 787 used on Tuesday carried the Etihad logo and the United Arab Emirates flag. Read more here


The planeload was again rejected by the P.A. Read more here

NOTE: The shipment is being dispatched to Ashdod indicating that its likely destination is Gaza, rather than the P.A. administered territories.




Wix, the Israeli website creating company, is offering a free web app to governments around the world. The COVID-19 Volunteer Call System, which connects volunteers with citizens in need of assistance, is currently in use in Israel.   Read more here


Israeli diagnostics startup MeMed is working with hospitals to determine how its 15-minute protein measurement test, which distinguishes viral from bacterial infections, may enhance Covid-19 care. Read more here




U.S. soldiers in the Syrian desert are training with the Israeli-made Smart Shooter SMASH 2000 sighting system an advanced electronic aiming system.Its fire control system allows the shooter to select a target and lock on, and automatically activates the trigger when a hit is guaranteed. Read more here




P.A. security forces said Sunday they thwarted an attack against IDF troops in the West Bank.PA officials said a Palestinian terror cell hid 30 pipe bombs and a shotgun on the outskirts of Jenin, intended to be used to ambush IDF troops.  Read more here


But the PA’s governor of Jenin, denied that PA security forces recently foiled a terrorist attack against the IDF.  Read more here


The PA’s halt in cooperation with Israel has prevented hundreds of sick Palestinians from receiving medical treatment in Israel. Palestinian agencies that coordinate the transit of patients from the West Bank and Gaza for treatment in Israel have stopped submitting requests for permits, and the Palestinian Health Ministry is refusing to make appointments for patients in Israeli hospitals. Read more here


Israel will use the tax money it collects on behalf of the P.A. to pay $724,000 to three Palestinians who were subjected to torture after the PA accused them of working with Israel. The three are part of a group of 52 Palestinians who sued the PA for damages after being arrested by the PA for “collaborating” with Israel. In November 2018, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the PA must compensate each plaintiff, but the PA refused to pay. Read more here




Norway is to withhold half of the year’s funding to the Palestinian Authority’s education system until it stops using textbooks that promote hate and violence. In May, the European Parliament passed resolutions that condemn the PA for continuing to teach hate and oppose EU aid to the PA being used for this purpose.            Read more here





Israel has been named as the third leading start-up ecosystem worldwide in the latest edition of research centre StartupBlink’s annual ecosystem rankings report.  Read more here




Israeli-Chinese research teams claim that pickles may fight dental plaque and reduce tooth cavities so could be harnessed for a new generation of mouthwashes. Read more here





Ben-Dror Yemini: No matter what disaster or crisis occurs, it is merely a matter of time until the Jews or Israel are held at fault for it. We were blamed for the coronavirus outbreak, even though Jews in Western nations are disproportionately hit harder by the disease than the general population.Now the anti-Semites have spun a whole new tale, that the despicable death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was a result of the police officers being trained by the Israel Police. In fact, the National Black Police Association (in America) wrote a letter supporting their training in Israel, highlighting the counter-terrorism tactics they are taught. Read more here


Hen Mazzig: There is a growing inclination to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of race. According to this narrative, Israel was established as a refuge for oppressed white European Jews who in turn became oppressors of people of colour, the Palestinians. As an Israeli, and the son of an Iraqi Jewish mother and North African Jewish father, it’s gut-wrenching to witness this shift. The majority of Jews in Israel today are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. I am baffled as to why mainstream media and politicians around the world ignore or misrepresent these facts. Israel was established for all Jews from every part of the world – the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia and, yes, Europe…Those who misrepresent Israel try to position it as a colonialist aggressor rather than a haven for those fleeing oppression. That all but erases the story of my family. In Iraq, my family experienced ongoing persecution. My great-grandfather was falsely accused of being a Zionist spy and executed in Baghdad in 1951.

Any erasure of the Mizrahi experience negates the lives of 850,000 Jewish refugees. They would also deny the existence of almost 200,000 descendants of Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel in the early 1990s in a daring rescue operation.

Israel is a place where an indigenous people have reclaimed their land and revived their ancient language, despite being surrounded by hostile neighbours and hounded by radicalized Arab nationalists who cannot tolerate any political entity in the region other than their own. Read more here