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Israel Update 18.6.20


As at Thursday morning, 257 new patients have been diagnosed with the virus over the past 24 hours, with the total number of active patients currently standing at 4,092. The number of fatalities is 303. The number of patients in serious condition now stands at 39, with 32 people needing ventilator support.  Read more here


With new infections increasing, PM Netanyahu said today (Thursday) :”There is no other way but for the public to change its behaviour. If not, then we will have to take firm measures,” Further re-opening of the economy is being halted.Read more here


After UK researchers announced that a steroid drug has been found to significantly increase the chances of survival for those seriously ill as a result of the coronavirus, a report revealed that some Israeli hospitals have for months been including it in the range of medicines they use to treat the disease. Doctors at Sheba Medical Centre, Ichilov Hospital, and Hadassah Medical Centre in had been giving dexamethasone to some patients since the outbreak began.Read more here




An Israeli start-up has developed an ultra-portable oxygen generator that could offer a solution for the increasing need for oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients, as well as for many other emergency situations. Oxygenium was established about three years ago by a group of Israeli partners inspired by their medical but also military experience to tackle a life-or-death challenge: bringing oxygen to the battlefield. Read more here


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for hospitals to employ an Israeli-made system the Predictive Analytics Platform made by CLEW, that uses artificial intelligence to alert doctors eight hours before Covid-19 patients’ conditions deteriorate. Read more here




Researchers at Hadassah Medical Centre  have discovered that coronavirus patients who form fatal blood clots have an increased level of alpha defensin protein in their blood.Read more here


Israeli researchers from The Medical Cannabis Research and Innovation Centre at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus are leading research that suggests the effects of medical cannabis could be used as a method for treating and preventing some symptoms of seriously ill COVID-19 patients specifically rapid, life-threatening inflammation. Read more here




Faces Behind Masks is a global non-profit initiative founded in Tel Aviv, Israel. Their mission is to provide medical staff in hospitals all over the world with sets of FREE personalized Smiling Face stickers. A photograph of each staff member’s face can be worn over protective clothing, so that patients see faces instead of just masks. Short video:View here


A research team at Technion University has invented a reusable face mask that can kill the coronavirus with heat by drawing power from a mobile phone charger.The disinfecting process takes about 30 minutes. The new mask has a USB port that connects to a power source such as a standard cellphone charger that heats an inner layer of carbon fibers to up to 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit), high enough to kill viruses. Read more here




A 10-day-old Syrian refugee infant was flown into Israel from Cyprus  for an emergency procedure to correct a congenital heart defect. He was the first emergency case admitted from abroad to the Sheba Medical Centre since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The baby’s father is staying at the hospital until doctors determine that the child is well enough to travel. Read more here




Gazans fired a mortar shell at Israel on Monday evening, the first in more than a month. In response, IDF aircraft and tanks attacked Hamas positions in Gaza.  Read more here


The Israeli military — in conjunction with the Shin Bet domestic security agency — recently thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip by sea from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Read more here




On Sunday evening, the Interior Ministry – in consultation with the Health Ministry – released an updated list of “exceptional cases” in which non-citizens can enter the country. Read more here




The Israeli Ambassador to Nepal has handed over medical supplies to support Nepal’s fight to contain Covid-19.Israel provided 550 units of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 10,000 masks, 50 infrared digital thermometers, and 5,000 pairs of surgical gloves, along with hand sanitizers, hand sprayers and disinfectant solution. Read more here




The EU has for the first time cancelled a grant to a Palestinian NGO for refusing to sign a clause that would obligate it to ensure that no terrorist organizations benefit from the funded programmes.Read more here




Riots have occurred in Jaffa over the city’s plan to build a centre for the homeless on a site that had once been an old Muslim cemetery. An Israeli court decision from January ruled that the project could continue because the Muslim community, with the approval of then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini, removed the bodies and turned the grounds into a soccer field 80 years ago.The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality responded: “The perpetrators are a small handful of people who do not represent most Jaffa residents….Keep in mind, the site of the homeless shelter has not been a cemetery for more than 100 years and served as a soccer field for the city’s Muslim soccer club.” Read more here




Nearly a month after PA President Abbas announced the end of security cooperation with Israel, a new status quo is emerging.The current indirect cooperation includes continued security alerts from Israel to the PA and extra care taken to prevent friction between the two sides’ security forces. Read more here


PA President Abbas intentionally misled the International Criminal Court by deleting a potentially incriminating section of a recently submitted document according to the NGO Palestinian Media Watch. Read more here





Universal Music Group has become the first major American music company to open a branch in Israel, focussing on “on the signing and developing of domestic artist talent”. Read more here




Bassam Tawil:The Hamas Ministry of Interior in Gaza warned Palestinians on June 9 not to publish photos from Gaza on social media platforms. As these reveal a different reality that runs contrary to the stories and images of “misery” and “suffering” in Gaza, Hamas seeks to conceal the shopping malls, supermarkets, fancy restaurants, coffee shops and modern clothing stores that have sprung up in Gaza in recent years. One popular Twitter account called @Imshin has been disseminating videos from the middle-class and wealthy of Gaza that never make it into the mainstream media, as they engage in shopping sprees and enjoy outings at swimming pools, restaurants, luxury hotels, and beach resorts.Read more here


Uzi Rubin: Iran is currently converting all its older missiles into precision weapons, and is supplying its allies in the region with expertise and materials with which to build their own precision missile capabilities. Israel is anxious to frustrate Hizbullah’s precision project because once it is achieved, Hizbullah’s missiles would be able to paralyze any vital installation or terrorize any civilian population centre in Israel. Read more here