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Israel Update 10.12.20

Chanukah Sameach to all my readers celebrating the Festival of Lights!




Last Thursday, UK Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sir Nicholas Carter and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi met via video link and signed an agreement to formalize and enhance Israel-UK defence collaboration…There is also what a senior UK official described as a “first-order partnership” in cyber security, as well as cooperation on the development of UAVs deployed by British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more here




(Last Thursday’s figures in brackets for comparison)

There were 1,828 (1,523) new cases confirmed in Israel on Wednesday. 318 (267)  patients are in serious condition with 100  (99) on ventilators. Since the start of the pandemic, 2934 (2,883) people have died from the disease. Read more here


Government ministers decided Thursday not to impose new restrictions during Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights) which begins on Thursday evening . Instead, restrictions will be tightened if the reproduction rate reaches 1.3 or the number of new cases per day hits 2,500 or more. Read more here




Israel will begin vaccinating its citizenry against coronavirus on December 27 and will be able to inoculate 60,000 people a day, according to PM Netanyahu. Read more here


Israel’s first batch of Pfizer vaccines was flown in on Wednesday. Reportedly thisfirst shipment was a pilot programme, to trial the transit and storage of the vaccines. Israel signed a deal to purchase 8 million doses, enough to inoculate four million Israelis and reportedly will receive up to 4 million doses by the end of this month. Read more here


Israel also signed an agreement with Moderna last Friday to triple the number of coronavirus vaccines  supplied.The original agreement for two million doses was expanded to six million.Read more here


Despite encouraging news that at least three vaccines provide some protection against COVID-19, leading Israeli medical entrepreneurs say additional vaccine and treatment options are still needed. Israel’s MigVax oral vaccine, which has proved successful against similar viruses in poultry, could be available next year if human trials go well. It has the advantage of being simple to distribute and use. Read more here




For the first time an Israeli delegation attended the UAE’s major GITEX technology summit. 200 entrepreneurs and businesspeople networked with their Gulf counterparts in Dubai. Read more here


On the arrivals board at Dubai International Airport, more flights from Tel Aviv were listed on December 7 than any other single point of origin that afternoon.Israelis are flooding into Dubai for all manner of events. As well as the inaugural UAE-Israel Future Digital Economy summit, thereare various meetings …coexistence talks, start-ups in town, rabbis and all manner of delegations, from mayors to businesspeople. Read more here


Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family has officially completed a purchase of 50% of the Israeli soccer team Beitar Jerusalem. Read more here


Museums in Jerusalem & Dubai are to highlight the shared history of Jews & Arabs. Read more here


The chairman of Dubai Ports World said that Israel is a logical, strategic link between ports in Europe and the Middle East,estimating initial UAE-Israel bilateral trade could be worth $5 billion. Read more here




Six Israeli Border Police officers and four Palestinians were wounded on Monday during an arrest operation in Qalandia to detain members ofa car theft ring.  Local residents were hurling concrete blocks and washing machines at the Israeli troops from rooftops.Read more here




12 Arab Israeli doctors entered Gaza last week for two days to provide free treatment for the chronically ill and other emergency cases whose treatment has been delayed because of coronavirus.The doctors conducted surgeries, medical training, and instruction for Gazan medical teams.They also brought medical equipment and drugs to help combat the pandemic. Read more here


Mako.co.il (Hebrew) reports the story of Ahmad Abu Halima, a 4 year old Gazan  boy whose life was saved by doctors at Schneider Hospital in Petah Tikva, However,  as the Palestinian Authority refuses to pay for any medical procedures that happen in Israel, the hospital set up an account for Israelis to help pay for Ahmad’s medical expenses. Read more here

 Hebrew text here




Israeli intelligence reportedly has a recording of recently assassinated Iranian nuclear chief Mohsen Fakhrizadeh speaking about his efforts to produce five warheads. Read more here


The German Foreign Minister said “A return to the previous agreement [with Iran] will not suffice anyway. …We have clear expectations of Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile programme that threatens the entire region…We need this agreement precisely because we distrust Iran.” Read more here


An Israeli flag and an English sign reading “Thank you, Mossad” were placed over a billboard in a Tehran suburb on Monday. Read more here




The Indian Navy has finalized a contract to procure the Israeli SMASH 2000 fire control system that is capable of bringing down high-speed enemy drones. Read more here




Sight Diagnostics,the Israeli-founded company that developed lab-grade blood testing systems with results in minutes, has announced that it signed a distribution agreement to supply its OLO analyzers to medical centres in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries over the next year. https://nocamels.com/2020/12/israel-sight-diagnostics-analyzers-uae-saudi/




Israel has a booming craft beer industry with microbreweries popping up all over the country. The Alexander Brewery’s Alexander Black beer recently took another international prize, winning the silver medal at the prestigious European Beer Star competition, the eighth medal for the brewery. Read more here




To mark 40 years since John Lennon’s murder, Israeli television on Tuesday aired a 1969 audio clip of the Beatle singing a Hebrew song “Oath to Jerusalem”.  View short video in this article




UK pop star Boy George has released his new single “Rainbow in the Dark”, recorded with Israeli performer Asaf Goren. He said: “I’d like you to stream my new song ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ with Asaf Goren anywhere you stream music. Play it loud, play it proud and I look forward to being in Israel sometime soon and playing live. Shalom, peace and love,”  Read more here




Israel’s national soccer team will be facing off against Denmark, Scotland, Austria, the Faroe Islands and Moldova in the qualifying rounds of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Read more here




The miraculous story of Kamel Abdul Rahman, who survived a metal rod through his head in February. Read here





8 days – 8 special arrangements for the Holiday! Join the Israel Philharmonic us at 17:00 (15.00 UK time) on each day of Hanukkah for a special arrangement played by musicians from the orchestra. Starting on Thursday, December 10 with the first candle lighting. Chag Sameach! View here