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Israel Update 20.8.20



Following last Thursday’s agreement between Israel and the UAE fully to normalise relations, delegations will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, and the establishment of reciprocal embassies. Read more here


Israeli firms have been selling goods and services to the UAE for years. According to the Manufacturers Association of Israel, about 200 Israeli companies are already exporting products to the UAE, especially in the fields of medical equipment, telecommunications, and national security. Read more here


Telephone service between the UAE and Israel began operating on Sunday. Read more here


A leading businessman from the UAE said Sunday he was already in talks with Israeli airline Israir on establishing direct flights between Israel and the UAE. Read more here


Arieli Capital, an investment firm operating innovation centres in Israel and around the world, was already in talks with officials in the UAE to promote desert agriculture projects. Read more here


Haifa’s Pluristem Therapeutics Inc and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to collaborate and capitalize on each company’s cell therapy expertise.  Read more here




Incendiary balloons launched from Gaza sparked at least 28 fires in Israel on Sunday.  On Sunday night, 200 Gazans rioted along the border, burning tyres and setting off explosives. On Saturday night, 800  participated in riots. Read more here


Two rockets were fired from the Gaza at southern Israel and were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system A fragment of an Iron Dome interceptor missile injured a man at home in Sderot just after midnight Saturday.  A 58-year-old man was lightly hurt by glass, and several people were treated for shock or for minor injuries sustained while running to shelters. Read more here


Monday’s series of arson balloon attacks included one which started a fire outside a kindergarten in Sderot.Read more here


In the second rocket attack of the week, Gazan terrorists fired another missile on Tuesday night. A 10-year-old girl sustained a limb injury and a 7-year-old girl injured her face and a limb while running to bomb shelters. Both were taken to hospital.  Read more here




The national coronavirus death toll rose sharply on Wednesday to 779 following the Health Ministry’s announcement that dozens of fatalities at senior living homes hadn’t been previously included in the tally… Of 24,098 active cases, there were 398 people in serious condition, of whom 118 were on ventilators. A further 164 were in moderate condition and the rest have mild or no symptoms.Read more here


Of the 20 localities in Israel with the highest rates of coronavirus as reported on Wednesday, 14 are Arab and Druze communities and 4 have a large Orthodox Jewish population. Read more here


The coronavirus cabinet was set to meet today, Thursday to decide whether new restrictions, including a potential nationwide lockdown, would be imposed over the Jewish High Holiday period next month. Read more here




Israeli vaccine research is prioritising quality over speed.   Prof. Shmuel Shapira, director of the Defence Ministry’s Institute for Biological Research said that an Israeli vaccine will be ready for human trials in October, although Phase 3 testing won’t begin until next year. Read more here



Israeli scientists are testing a new ultra-fast gargle-and-spit test for coronavirus on hundreds of patients, and report that so far it is proving 95-percent accurate. The developers have built a USB-powered machine the size of an ashtray, which takes just one second to conduct light analysis of mouthwash that a patient has gargled. Read more here




The Bengaluru Israeli Consulate in South India has donated 25 industrial oxygen concentrators, or purifiers, to be used in Indian government hospitals to  help contain the coronavirus spread within the medical facilities Read more here




During their first joint drill on German soil, Israeli and German airforce planes overflew Dachau concentration camp and also Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield to honour the 11 Israeli athletes murdered in the 1972 Munich massacre.

Embedded video (1 minute)  View here




A Border Police officer was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday night. The Arab assailant was shot dead by other officers at the scene. Read more here


IDF soldiers opened fire on a terrorist about to throw a firebomb at Rachel’s Tomb. Read more here




The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has awarded Elbit Systems UK, a subsidiary of  Haifa-based Elbit Systems a contract worth £990,000, to develop unmanned aerial vehicles to enhance coastal surveillance. Read more here


US tech giant Apple Inc. has reportedly acquired Israeli startup Camerai, a maker of camera technology and its technologies have already been integrated into Apple’s smartphone cameras. Read more here




KAHR Medical, an Israeli biopharmaceutical company has received US FDA clearance to start clinical trials on its immunotherapy drug to battle cancer. The drug is based on a compound that simultaneously targets cancer cells, weakens their defences and activates an effective, local response.  Read more here


An anti-viral sticker developed at Israel’s Technion that adds protection to surgical masks worn by medical staff is going into mass production in Israel. The 3D-printed nanotech sticker, dubbed “Maya,” Is designed to effectively neutralize viruses as they touch the mask. Read more here


Israeli medical devices company RenewSenses has developed an artificial intelligence cane (stick) to help blind or visually impaired people to navigate independently. The device, easily installed on a regular cane, provides audio information about what is in front of the user, and vibrates as they approach an obstacle. Read more here




Israeli cultured meat bioprinting startup MeaTech announced on Monday that its scientists have successfully completed the 3D printing of a thin, uniform, slaughter-free meat tissue produced from stem cells. Read more here




Guy Niv, 26, will make history as the first-ever Israeli rider to compete in the Tour de France.Read more here




JPOST Editorial: Rockets and mortars are very obvious dangers, but there is a risk of underestimating the threat from the clusters of balloons, inflated condoms and kites laden with incendiary and explosive devices – which can be anything from a homemade bomb to anti-tank RPGs…These are weapons, and their use is a war crime…Footage on Saturday showed firefighters battling to contain the flames in a grove of avocado trees, someone’s livelihood literally going up in smoke. Members of Kibbutz Erez similarly shared photos of their greenhouses on fire. Vast areas of nature reserves, woods and fields are being razed and destroyed by the arson attacks…This is not only a potential human disaster, it is an ecological disaster. The use of fire balloons and kites cannot be considered a legitimate form of protest. Read more here


THE TIMES Editorial: The new agreement  (between Israel and the UAE) reflects how Middle Eastern security concerns have shifted. The running sore of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now secondary to shared fears about Iran’s regional adventurism. Read more here


Dennis Ross: Normalization (between Israel & the UAE) should signal to Palestinians that others are not going to wait for them. Focusing only on their grievances, their narrative and their posture of never initiating or offering counterproposals to negotiations will continue to weaken their position…This normalization represents an important contribution to peace-building between Arabs and Israelis.(Washington Post- paywall)


David Horowitz:Why the Israel-UAE agreement changes (almost) everything. It marginalises both right and left, helps Israel globally, makes us less divisive in the US. But it doesn’t solve the Palestinian conflict – which is the most radical thing of all. Read more here