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Israel Update 24.3.21

This Update is taking a break so there will be no email next week 1stApril. In the meantime I wish those of my readers who are celebrating Passover or Easter, Pesach Sameach or Happy Easter respectively. HRG




A combination of coronavirus precautions, along with the upcoming Passover holiday, could see the final results of the March 23 elections remain unknown for several days. President Rivlin announced that he will wait about two weeks until the final vote results are in before starting consultations with party leaders on whom they recommend to form the next government and become prime minister. Read more here


As at Wednesday afternoon, with 87% of the votes counted, the results so far appear inconclusive.Read more here



Israel’s first-ever airport polling stations opened for returning unvaccinated citizens, allowing them to vote before going into quarantine. Read more here


Hospital voting got underway with hazmat suits, oxygen tubes and ballots via airlock in Covid wards. Read more here




A rocket was fired on Tuesday at Be’er Sheva while  P.M. Netanyahu was making a campaign stop there, the first time a rocket had been  launched from Gaza while elections were taking place in Israel. Read more here


(Last Thursday’s figures in brackets for comparison)


679 (1,496) new cases of coronavirus were registered in Israel on Tuesday. The number of patients in serious condition dropped to 500 (579). The death toll is 6,131.(6062) Read more here


By Monday 56% of Israelis had received the first dose of the vaccine, and 49% had received both doses. Read more here




By last week, Israel had vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel at 13 stations throughout the West Bank over the previous fortnight.                  Read more here


As at Sunday, with the vast majority of Israelis age 16 and over already vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, big vaccination centres in the country’s main cities have started to close as the focus shifts to smaller, mobile stations in smaller communities. Over 5.1 million of Israel’s 9.3 million population had received at least one vaccine dose, and over 4.5 million had both shots. With at least 3 million under 16s unable to be inoculated, the vaccination pace has slowed down dramatically.Read more here


In a landmark ruling, a Tel Aviv labour court ruled Sunday that a school can prevent unvaccinated employees who refuse to have regular COVID-19 tests from coming to work, determining that the children’s safety takes precedence over staff’s rights. Read more here




An Israeli study has indicated  that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the so-called South African variant of the virus, but works well to combat both the generic strain of the virus and the British variant. The spread of the variants was likely due to their higher levels of infectivity, and not resistance to vaccines. Read more here




An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company is preparing to launch a Phase I clinical trial for what could become the world’s first oral COVID-19 vaccine. Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., using technology developed by Hadassah-University Medical Centre, announced a joint venture with India-based Premas Biotech to develop a novel oral vaccine. Being yeast-based, production costs are lower.  Further, the vaccine can be shipped at refrigerator temperatures, stored at room temperature, and  would not require professional administration. Read more here




Israeli-raised biochemist Dr Gilly Regev co-founded the company SaNOtize and developed its anti-viral nose spray in Canada. The spray which kills 99.9% of viruses is to begin production in Israel. Dr Regev said that it could save many lives in countries without access to vaccines. Read more here


SaNOtizehas announced that UK trials showed its Nitric Oxide nose spray successfully reduced virus severity in infected patients and prevented it being transmitted to others. Emergency deployment is now being sought in Britain and Canada. (TY Michael O.)Read more here




Last week, Indian Oil Corporationentered into a collaboration with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company specialising in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems, to form IOC Phinergy Private Limited. An Indian Minister said that the joint venture will help India in its journey towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe, and long-lasting energy options and facilitate much faster adoption of e-Vehicles in the country. (TY Harjinder P.) Read more here




Three Israeli satellites were launched simultaneously into space on Monday from Kazakhstan and will be used to calculate the location of planes, ships and people.
Read more here




Greece will recognize Israel’s “Green Pass” and allow up to 10,000 vaccinated Israeli tourists per week  into the country without a self-isolation period or a coronavirus test. Read more here


From April 1, Israelis who have been vaccinated will be allowed to enter Cyprus without showing a negative coronavirus test and will not need to enter quarantine. Read more here


Vaccinated  Israelis can now fly direct to the Seychelles. Read more here




Douxmatok, an Israeli food innovation company offers a unique solution to the problem of enjoying sweets without suffering dental cavities or excess weight. Read more here




Israel’s Sight Diagnostics has deployed its lab-grade Sight OLO solution to the UK’s John Radcliffe Hospital, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation. The portable system delivers Full Blood Count (FBC) results in just a few minutes. (TY Michael O.)Read more here


Inspira Technologies, with its Augmented Respiration Technology (ART) solution, offers a treatment which directly oxygenates the blood, increasing saturation level within 60 seconds while the patient is awake and responsive. This is an entirely new category for treating respiratory failure.  ART does not require an ICU and can be used in general wards and clinics. Recently, Inspira Technologies and Sheba Medical Centre announced a collaboration on the breakthrough respiration treatment that is being used on severely ill COVID-19 patients.  Read more here




The PA will use a  postal bank to distribute “ pay-for-slay” payments to Palestinian terrorists to avoid penalties by Israeli law that could be imposed on Palestinian banks distributing the payments, as the postal bank is for mail transactions and is not a banking institution. The PA is also trying to conceal the “pay-for-slay” payments by creating thousands of new civil and security service positions that can only be held by those imprisoned in Israel, meaning that the payments will be disguised as paychecks. Read more here




The national rugby teams of Israel and the UAE  held their first friendly game in Dubai last Friday, in what was termed the Abraham Accord Friendship Cup  Israel won 33 to 0 and then the teams then mixed into “blue” and “white” teams with each including players from both nations, and played another game. Read more here