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Israel Update 24.9.20



The Israeli SpectraLIT coronavirus test eliminates the need for swabbing and lab processing, with passengers simply asked to gargle with 10 ml of a special mouthwash, and then spit into a tube. The test, developed by Israeli company Newsight with Sheba Medical Centre under the newly formed Virusight Diagnostic, is being trialled at airports by ICTS Europe, a security company operating in more than 120 airports in 23 countries. Read more here




Government ministers have approved a total lockdown beginning Friday at 2 p.m.,lasting at least two weeks. The regulations (listed in this article) are expected to be approved by the Knesset on Thursday. (later today) Read more here


Israel’s Health Ministry reported Thursday morning that 6,826 new cases of coronavirus have been detected in the previous 24 hours, the second consecutive day that daily virus diagnoses approached 7,000. There are currently 667 patients in serious condition in hospitals, among them 164 patients on ventilators. The death toll has risen to 1,335. Read more here


Israel has received 100,000 facemasks from Vietnam, produced by Vietnamese company PSD, which will be delivered to ZAKA volunteers in Israel. Read more here




An advanced mask shielding against coronavirus, developed by the IDF, is now being tested at Meir hospital. Healthcare workers who have used it say it makes a huge difference in how they perform their duties. Read more here


Video (2 min 29)   View here




A team from the Weizmann Institute of Science has identified molecules that bacteria produce to protect themselves when they are under attack by viruses. It is thought that the molecules, which can be synthetically made, will have the same virus-fighting ability if introduced to infected human cells.An Israeli drug company, Pantheon Biosciences, has already licensed the rights to develop anti-viral drugs based on the finding. Read more here




Laser-induced graphene (LIG) technology, developed by a partnership between Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and Houston-based Rice University, is to be commercialized to make filtration systems that can filter out airborne COVID-19 particles. Read more here




Jerusalem-based Mobileye, developer of driver assistance systems, will begin setting up the infrastructure to test autonomous vehicles in Dubai and hopes to roll out a full Mobility-as-a-Service offering, including self-driving taxis and smart city solutions, by 2023. Read more here


The Israeli and Dubai diamond exchanges have signed a trade agreement.Read more here


Dubai-based Al Habtoor group plans to open a representative office in Israel and is working on direct flights between Israel and the UAE. The conglomerate deals in real estate, education, hospitality, automotive industries, publishing and other areas. Read more here


The Abu Dhabi Film Commission has reached an understanding with the Israel Film Fund and a Jerusalem film school seeking to strengthen commercial ties through training programmes for film and television co-production and joint film festivals. Read more here


Israel’s Bank Leumi and the Dubai-based DP World signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to explore working together on increasing trade between Israel and the rest of the Middle East via shipping. Read more here


The UAE’s first-ever certified kosher restaurant has opened in the Armani Hotel, situated in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Read more here




More than a dozen senior communication professionals, journalists and academics from the Arab world, including countries with no formal ties to Israel, on Monday took part in an unprecedented online forum to discuss with Israeli journalists and several senior government officials the role of the media in forging peace in the Middle East. Participants came not only from Israel’s new peace partners — the UAE and Bahrain — but also from Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria. Read more here




Dr. Elhanan Bar-On, director of the Israel Centre for Disaster Medicine & Humanitarian Response (ICDMHR) was recruited by the World Health Organization to help rebuild medical services for refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos following the blaze that destroyed the Moria Refugee Camp housing more than 12,000 Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi refugees. ICDMHR responds to global humanitarian crises, mass casualty events and natural disasters and has handled emergency situations from Haiti to Zambia. Israeli humanitarian aid agency Israid, which has been providing medical, educational and psychological support to refugees on Lesbos since 2015, distributed family hygiene kits and baby kits to families from the destroyed camp. Read more here


Israeli humanitarian aid NGO IsraAID has helped the South Pacific country of Vanuatu install water-filtration systems, taps and pipes in Latano, South Tongoa and Central Pentecost. The previous system broke down some 40 years ago and residents have been walking over a kilometre to the nearest source. Read more here
Part of a team of 10 Israeli firefighters, Idan Braun came halfway around the world to help fight Northern California’s wildfires.
Read more here




Israel and Italy have finalized a major exchange of military hardware. Israel will sell Spike anti-tank guided missiles and aircraft simulators in exchange for training helicopters. Read more here




The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality announced that it is on track to become the first city in the world to roll out smart roads that can charge electric vehicles as they drive along, with a pilot project set to trial an electric public transportation system. The technology is provided by an Israeli company, ElectReon which has installed an electric road in Sweden and plans to install the first wireless electric road system in Germany later this year. Read more here




An Israeli bio-tech company, CollPlant Biotechnologies, is transforming tobacco into a collagen-expressing plant that can produce an unlimited number of transplantable organs. They print artificial lungs and their next 3D-printed organ will be human kidneys. Read more here


Israeli startup PregnanTech it has developed a silicone ring which can help prevent preterm births. Next year, a clinical trial for pregnant women at risk for preterm birth is planned at King’s College Hospital London. Read more here


Inteligels’ smart liquid bandage hardens flexibly after application and dissolves off the skin in cool water so avoids painful removal .Read more here




The Israel Security Agency has arrested Yasmin Jaber, a resident of east Jerusalem, who headed a cell which attempted to recruit Israelis and Palestinians to work for Iran and Hizbullah. She worked at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. Read more here




A new version of the classic Israeli song by Shiri Maimon with English translation: Listen here




J.Post Editorial: The EU should follow the UAE’s example on Israel relations. By decoupling Israel from the Palestinian issue and treating each on their own merits, the UAE & Bahrain have gained much – and others can do the same. Read more here