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Israel Update 14.1.21



The Tel Aviv-headquartered Aura Air startup has finished outfitting 400 tourist buses, newly repurposed to carry frontline workers in the UK and Ireland, with its unique data-driven air purification system. Read more here


Israel’s Elbit Systems UK subsidiary has been awarded a 12-year, $166 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence for the Royal Navy Training Programme. Read more here



 (Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


There were 9,388 (7820) new coronavirus cases in Israel on Wednesday, 1,063 (873) patients are in serious condition, with 273 (210 ) intubated. The death toll is 3,826 (3527). 1,934,685 Israelis have received the first coronavirus vaccination and 104,346 have received both doses. Read more here


Israel’s Head of Public Health Services said on Tuesday that the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine does not provide complete protection citing the fact that 17% of Israel’s seriously ill patients had been inoculated. Read more here


Vital data is starting to emerge from Israel’s breakneck-paced mass inoculation programme. Data released Tuesday by the Health Ministry tracked Covid infection levels among 600,000 people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a group almost 30 times bigger than the one involved in the Phase 3 trial that preceded FDA approval of the shot. The Maccabi HMO reported that the rate of infection decreased from 40 out of 100,000 in the first 12 days after the first vaccination to 15 per 100,000 on days 13 to 21 – a 60% reduction. Read more here




Hundreds of thousands of doses of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived in Israel on Sunday with further weekly shipments expected to deliver another million doses by the end of the month, and 10 million doses by March. Read more here


Israel has begun administering second doses of Pfizer’s vaccine.Read more here


On January 7, Israel became the first country to complete the first phase of vaccinations for all residents and employees of elder-care and assisted-living/retirement facilities. Read more here


Israelis aged 50 and over are now eligible for coronavirus vaccinations. Read more here


By the end of March, Israel hopes to have vaccinated 5.2 million citizens, according to the Health Ministry’s plan. Read more here


Reportedly the total price tag of NIS 1 billion (for the vaccines) is about the same as the cost to the Israeli economy for every two days of Israel’s ongoing lockdown.  Read more here


Some 100 Israelis with severe allergies were vaccinated for the first time at Sheba Medical Centre on Friday as part of a pilot programme. The hospital provided allergy patients with a protected environment, including a team of four experts on call in case of any emergencies.Read more here


The Czech president said that he had asked Israel for advice on the coronavirus vaccination campaign as his country suffered one of the world’s fastest infection rates.    Read more here




Everyone who studies or works at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is being asked to screen themselves weekly using their home-grown NaorCov19 test, by giving a saliva sample that takes less than an hour to analyze in the lab. The developer of the testsaid it offers routine screening that is a good extra line of defence against the virus, but is not an alternative for PCR testing among people with symptoms. Read more here




As one of the newest members of the Israeli World Tour cycling team, Britain’s most decorated road cyclist and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is becoming acquainted with the Israeli lifestyle.In a short promo video, Froome, alongside his Israeli teammate Guy Sagiv, spent some time sampling some hummus and even trying out some Hebrew.  Read more here




Israel’s Pi-Cardia Ltd., developer of non-implant, catheter-based solutions for treating heart valves, announced Thursday its first successful treatment of human patients with its ShortCut device. Read more here


CorNeat Vision’s KPro, the first artificial cornea that does not rely on donor tissue, was successfully implanted in Jamal Furani, 78, at  Israel’s Rabin Medical Centre in Israel.Upon removal of bandages, the patient was able to read text and recognize family members. Read more here


Artificial intelligence, (“AI”) can transform patient care by teaching computers to read images and automatically provide diagnosis insights and reprioritize cases. The CEO of Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision Ltd., said that: “The imaging AI allows a clinician to see the progression of COVID-19 in the lungs, and helps the doctor decide if the patient needs to go to the ICU, needs a ventilator, or if the condition of the patient is not critical.”Read more here


Herzlia-based NeuroSense Therapeutics is a clinical stage drug development company offering ground-breaking treatment for ALS patients, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.Read more here




Israeli medtech company Inovytec signed an agreement with the state of California to provide its Ventway Sparrow turbine mobile ventilators to hospitals. Read more here



A new air purification technology invented by the Israeli Tadiran air conditioner company kills 99.999% of viruses, germs and bacteria.Read more here




The IDF said on Saturday that a manhunt was underway after assailants attempted to shoot soldiers after ramming into one of them at a military checkpoint.  Read more here


A Palestinian man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trying to stab Israeli guards with a screwdriver at a West Bank crossing.  Read more here


A Palestinian man, 22, tried to stab an Israeli policeman outside Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs and was shot and wounded  on Wednesday. Read more here


Border guards arrested a Palestinian teenager Sunday night after he threw a Molotov cocktail at the Rachel’s Tomb pilgrimage site.Read more here


An IDF engineering force operating  in an armoured bulldozer in the buffer zone along the Israeli border with Gaza came under fire on Wednesday. Read more here




Israel’s national water company Mekorot  is to sign a preliminary agreement to supply Bahrain with water desalination technology.Read more here




Potentially harmful to the environment when not disposed of properly, single use PPE can be put to use, along with other waste, by Israeli cleantech startup UBQ Materials. Read more here




The PA Prime Minister said last week that the PA has signed contracts with four companies that produce coronavirus vaccines and that the vaccines would arrive within the next two months.Read more here




Liat Collins: It’s true that Israel is not vaccinating the Palestinians who live in Palestinian Authority areas – recognized by 139 UN members as The State of Palestine. That’s because they are not Israeli citizens and they don’t pay membership in Israeli health funds. They come under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian health authorities. And even The Guardian noted halfway through the article that the PA “has not officially asked for help from Israel.” Now, however, it seems Israel is supplying them with a limited quantity of the vaccine.

Demanding Israel vaccinate all Palestinians living under PA or Hamas rule makes as much sense as expecting India to mass immunize Pakistanis or the US to vaccinate Mexicans and perhaps Cubans for good measure.

In Jerusalem, where many Arab residents belong to Israeli health funds even if they do not hold citizenship, the vaccination programme is in full swing.

Accusing Israel of an apartheid vaccination programme is more than a cheap shot, it’s part of delegitimization campaign that far from encouraging peace does exactly the opposite. Read more here

Richard Kemp: The same negative (media) policy extends to other major benefits that Israel has brought to the world, including scientific innovation, medical technology and life-saving intelligence. It goes against editorial agendas to report on the Jewish state in a positive light unless they can somehow twist a good story to turn it bad.

This week we have seen exactly that in newspapers and broadcast media on both sides of the Atlantic as they contort themselves — and the truth — to bash Israel over its remarkable success in vaccinating against Coronavirus.Read more here


Alan Baker:  Clearly, epidemiological and moral considerations require both Israel and the Palestinians to cooperate to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading between their respective territories. But allegations that Israel has an international legal duty to provide vaccines to the Palestinians have no basis.Read more here