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Israel Update 2.7.20



The Israel Health Ministry reported Thursday morning that 966 Israelis had tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest daily total ever, after more than 20,000 tests were conducted on Wednesday. There are currently 8,647 active cases, 58 in serious condition. The death toll is 324. Read more here


The new figures came after a lockdown was imposed on parts of Ashdod and Lod early Thursday to contain the spread of the virus, and ministers were set to meet again to discuss further restrictions to rein in the alarming rise in infections. Late Wednesday, the Knesset reinstated  the Shin Bet agency’s surveillance program to track virus carriers, effective over the next three weeks. Read more here


The government on Monday had reimposed some restrictions. The capacity at indoor event halls will be capped at 100.  Public gatherings, funerals and circumcisions will be limited to 50 people.Read more here


Recovered COVID patients are baffling doctors with complaints of freak pains, lungs that just won’t get back to normal, and a range of incapacitating psychological issues.  Prof.Izbicki of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Centre said “More than half the patients, weeks after testing negative, are still symptomatic…There is very little research about the mid-term effect of coronavirus,” Read more here




A round-up of current Israeli research into a COVID-19 vaccine. An Israeli team, the Israel Institute for Biological Research and the Weizmann Institute of Science, has featured in the World Health Organization’s periodic report on international vaccine efforts, for their joint work on a vaccine design.  Read more here




An Israeli AI-based technology company is to help UK pathologists better detect prostate cancer. Tel Aviv-based Ibex Medical Analytics will work with UK pathology firm LDPath to roll out software for England’s National Health Service in bid to weed out misdiagnoses. Read more here


Israel is the first country to incorporate a breakthrough therapy developed for cancer patients suffering from an aggressive type of leukaemia which, although extremely common, often leaves them with no other treatment options. The new therapy, the first of its kind to be developed in twenty years, is from AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company.   Read more here


A new clinical study led by Israeli researchers and publicized this week has shown that controlled, inhaled doses of THC – the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis – can effectively relieve pain in patients who are chronic sufferers. Read more here


Muhammad Khatib, a doctoral student at the Technion  (Israel Institute of Technology) has invented a soft polymer that could be used as a self-healing high-tech “skin.” His polymer is elastic and waterproof and can heal itself if scratched, cut or twisted. Read more here


Bayer AG, the German pharma giant, has signed a collaboration agreement to test out new drugs on human heart tissue 3D-printed by researchers at Tel Aviv University, who will work with Bayer to test new medication for toxicity and efficacy using 3D-printed heart tissue and eventually whole human 3D-printed hearts, over a number of years. Read more here




Twenty years after the first woman took to the skies as Israel’s first combat pilot, the IAF will soon have its first female F-35 pilot. While there are several female F-35 pilots in the US Air Force, it is believed that the Israeli pilot will be only the second woman to fly the advanced 5th-generation stealth fighter jet in combat. Read more here




Two rockets were fired at Israel by Gazans last Friday night. In response, Israeli planes struck targets in Gaza. Read more here




A Palestinian man was arrested carrying a knife at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Saturday morning after his behaviour aroused the suspicion of guards. Read more here




Two private companies in the UAE  (United Arab Emirates) have signed an agreement with two companies in Israel to develop research and technology to combat Covid-19. Read more here


A virtual meeting was held last week between Sheikh Ali al-Obeidi, the head of the Bedouin tribes in Iraq and Syria, and the Jerusalem Centre.  The sheikh had written “We want to join our hands with yours in order to create for our people and upcoming generations a future where we will live in peace and love as allies.” He said that he wants to reach a strategic alliance with Israel and hopes to reach a peace agreement between Iraq, Syria, and Israel and establish full political and economic relations. Read more here




The Israeli Embassy in Ukraine is providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians affected by flooding in the west of the country. As an initial donation, the embassy sent thousands of water bottles to flood victims. Later this week, tents and hundreds of sleeping bags will also be provided. Read more here




Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are ranked together as the sixth most attractive ecosystem for startups and innovation by a global survey held by research firm Startup Genome. The study maps the global startup industry in over 150 cities worldwide. Read more here




An Israeli startup, Redefine Meathas unveiled what it claims was the world’s first plant-based steak created using industrial 3D-printing and said it will start testing the alt-beef cuts at high-end restaurants in Israel  soon. The product fully replicates the muscle structure of beef. It is high-protein, no-cholesterol and looks, cooks, feels and tastes like beef.Read more here




Eilat is piloting its first air-conditioned bus shelter, featuring automatic sliding doors, touchscreen, bus travel smartcard charging, bulletin board, and 24×7 CCTV security.
View short video here




The Israel Philharmonic Global Gala 2020 hosted by Dame Helen Mirren, featured Maestro Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman & Amanda Forsyth, Itzhak Perlman, Khatia Buniatishvili, Yefim Bronfman, Sir András Schiff, Gil Shaham and Adèle Anthony, Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, Chen Reiss, Martin Fröst and Evgeny Kissin

Sunday’s broadcast was disrupted by a cyber attack, but is available for a limited time at this YouTube link: View here




Khaled Abu Toameh: For many years, Palestinian organizations have received unconditional funding from Western donors…Recently, the EU has had the audacity to demand that EU taxpayer money not end up in the hands of terrorist organizations who continue to work for the elimination of Israel. These terrorist organizations included those designated as such by the EU, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).The Palestinian opposition to the EU demand is based on the argument that this request is “humiliating” for the Palestinians. They are offended by the idea that their “cash cow” is now refusing to produce money for terrorist aims. It remains to be seen whether the Europeans will cave in to Palestinian threats and drop their demand that EU money actually feed hungry people rather than feed the Palestinian terrorists’ hunger for Jewish blood.Read more here