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Israel Update 3.12.20



A team of 20 doctors and nurses from Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre flew to northern Italy on December 2 to assist a local hospital dealing with a serious outbreak of Covid-19. The 10-day mission was initiated following an appeal from the governor of the Piedmont District to Israel’s ambassador to Italy.  read more here


Israel will send a relief and rescue team to Honduras following the devastation left by hurricanes Eta and Iota, it was announced Monday. An Israeli delegation departed Tuesday to evaluate the damage. Read more here


Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem will accept non-Covid patients from Cyprus with serious and life-threatening medical conditions to relieve local hospitals under strain from Covid-19. Hadassah is in talks with a Cypriot company to operate a new state-of-the-art hospital complex in Nicosia and a rehabilitation centre in Limassol.Read more here




(Last Thursday’s figures in brackets for comparison)

There were 1,523  (1069) new cases confirmed in Israel on Wednesday. 267 (282) patients are in serious condition with 99 (122) on ventilators. Since the start of the pandemic, 2,883 (2826) people have died from the disease. Read more here


The government on Monday moved to further limit public access to shopping malls that have reopened in a widely criticized pilot programme that saw the public flood stores over the weekend. Read more here




Israel’s domestically produced coronavirus single dose vaccine “Brilife” will only be ready for distribution next summer. The head of the institute manufacturing it complained that over-regulation and lack of sufficient government support have caused significant delays in its trial process. Read more here




Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the guiding figure behind Iran’s secretive nuclear weapons programme, was killed Friday in a roadside ambush. Read more here


Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid criticised EU condemnation of the hit, saying, “the fact that the European Union is condemning the justified assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist instead of [condemning] Iran’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and export terrorism all over the world represents moral bankruptcy and abject cowardice.”  Read more here


Fakhrizadeh was identified by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency in 2011 as a central figure in suspected Iranian work to develop technology and skills needed for atomic bombs. Documents pointed to research into how to weaponize warheads and the explosives technology required to detonate a nuclear bomb.Read more here


There is a general feeling that despite extensive Israeli airstrikes against Iranian facilities and outposts in Syria intended to distance Iran from Israel’s borders, the Iranians, via Hizbullah, are coming closer and closer.       Read more here




Madrid’s Palace of Zarzuela, where the King of Spain welcomes foreign guests, has incorporated Israeli air purifying technology. According to a study, Aura Air’s system can destroy 99.9% of viruses, including coronavirus. Read more here




The Jerusalem-based ZAKA International Rescue Unit, a humanitarian organization, made up of volunteers who lead search, rescue and recovery missions at home and around the world, has signed a memorandum of understanding with its counterparts in the UAE. Read more here


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is to be a partner in a new Israeli accelerator programme focused on fostering startups in the field of tourism.   Read more here


An increasing number of Israeli-Arab citizens are flying to Dubai for business or pleasure.The normalization agreement is, according to many, an opportunity to build bridges and connect with the Arab world.                  Read more here


Emirati & Israeli organisations are to collaborate in the conservation of the Houbara bustard and other rare and threatened bird species. Read more here


Water-from-air startup Watergen has signed a strategic partnership with Emirati firm Al Dahra to export the Israeli solutions to the UAE and other regional countries.Read more here


An electric car for the elderly developed by mechanical engineering students at Israel’s Ariel University was selected to participate in this year’s Global Grad Show,a now-virtual gathering of graduate and university social impact projects held in Dubai.Read more here




316 members of the Falash Mura community from Ethiopia arrived in Israel on Thursday with 100 more expected on Friday. The government intends to bring over a total of 2,000 by the end of January. Those who arrived are the children or grandchildren of members of the community who immigrated to Israel many years ago. Read more here




A suspected balloon-borne explosive device apparently launched from the Gaza Strip was found Tuesday in southern Israel. Read more here




During a visit to Israel by the second ministerial delegation from Bahrain within 2 weeks, the country’s minister in charge of trade said that Bahrain will not distinguish between Israeli goods made in Israel and those from disputed territories. Read more here




The first Israeli to be elected to serve on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Odelia Fitoussi, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, received support from 109 countries. Read more here




Slovenia on Monday designated Hezbollah in its entirety a terrorist organization, joining a growing number of European states who have taken similar steps in recent weeks to end differentiation between the group’s political and armed wings. Read more here




Israel Aerospace Industries will provide security for UN bases in Mali, Africa, using threat detection and identification systems & CCTV . Read more here


Israeli defence company Elbit Systems has won a contract to open a helicopter flight training centre in Europe. The company will also establish a maintenance service to train Air Force & Navy teams. Read more here




Israeli startup Remilk makes dairy products with dairy proteins, minus the cows.This model of food production is said to be up to 100 times more land efficient than the existing dairy system, 25 times more feedstock efficient, 20 times more time-efficient, and 10 times more water-efficient. Read more here


SavorEat, a maker of 3D-printed, plant-based meat alternatives, has become the first such firm on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Read more here




Israel’s Ben Gurion University, together with Indian firm Aban Offshore, is establishing an agricultural research institute in Chennai, India. It will allow Indian students to earn degrees in agriculture from BGU including hydrology and water quality, desert studies, and ecology and conservation.
Read more here




Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing services arm of tech giant Amazon, will soon start offering customers accelerators developed by Intel’s Israel-based subsidiary Habana Labs to enable them to do machine learning work on their cloud services at a lower cost. Read more here


Israel’s Qwilt  has signed a substantial deal with entertainment giant Disney, just a month after a similar deal with British Telecom. Qwilt’s technology will be integrated into the Disney+ streaming service, which was launched in 2019 and now has more than 75 million subscribers.  Read more here




Aidoc, a maker of AI-based software that helps radiologists in their work, said  that Israel’s six largest medical centres are using its technology to analyze CT scans to pinpoint critical conditions. Read more here


Israel’s PixCell Medical, will be deploying its blood test analyzers in small labs and large emergency departments without onsite labs in New South Wales, Australia. HemoScreen is a low-cost portable hematology analyzer that can perform a complete blood count at the point of care, using disposable cartridges that need no maintenance or calibration.Read more here




The Israel Philharmonic Foundation is streaming a pre-Hanukkah concert event featuring music by Hans Zimmer, one of Hollywood’s most prolific score composers. The event is on Sunday 6 December at 11 am PST, 19.00 UK time and 21.00 Israel time. Read more here


Jerusalem’s YMCA continued its tradition of lighting a Christmas tree this year.  Due to coronavirus regulations, the event was streamed online on Sunday night. Read more here




Richard Goldberg: SPND’s existence, Iran’s curation of a secret nuclear weapons archive, and its concealment of undeclared nuclear material present a simple truth. We can no longer pretend that the Iran deal prevented the Islamic Republic’s nuclear advancement. Read more here


Numerous articles in the Saudi press justified the killing of Fakhrizadeh.

Among them Saudi journalist Tariq Al-Homayedattacked those who condemned the assassination. “The Iranian scientist who was killed was not engaged in helping humanity…but in an evil project and a wicked plan against the entire region…How can they condemn the killing of a man who devoted his life to building an evil bomb for an evil regime when they do not condemn Iran’s killing of unarmed people across the region?””Iran is the reason for the deaths of Syrians, Iraqis and Lebanese. It is destroying Yemen and sheltering all the terrorist elements in the region…The countries that consoled Iran and condemned the killing of the Iranian scientist are essentially Iran’s partners in shedding Arab blood.” Read more here


Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek: Every fall the UN General Assembly debates a package of Palestinian resolutions prepared chiefly by the Palestinians themselves, with the EU as their main partner.UN Palestinian resolutions do not bring us any closer to the goal of returning Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiation table. According to them, Israel is the sole perpetrator of all Palestinian problems. That goes against the long-standing Czech Republic’s foreign policy, which seeks a balanced position.  Read more here