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Israel Update 21.4.21



UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, accompanied by Jonathan Van-Tam, one of England’s deputy chief medical officers, arrived in Israel Monday night on a fact-finding mission to see how the country is opening up from COVID-19 restrictions.  Israel’s Foreign Minister said that the UK and Israel plan to work together to recognize each other’s vaccination certificates and to allow tourists and businesspeople to travel between the countries in light of their high vaccination rates. Read more here





(last  Monday’s  figures in brackets for comparison)



141 (137) new cases of coronavirus were reported  in Israel on Sunday  There was also been a fall in serious COVID cases to 193 (253). There are no longer any “red” areas of high infection rates in Israel and only one northern town (Buq’ata) is considered “orange.”  The death toll in Israel from the disease stands at 6,339 (6,299). Read more here


Israelis stepped into the streets without wearing masks on Sunday for the first time in a year.  However, not everyone is relinquishing their face-coverings as concerns linger over variants.(and masks are still required inside shops etc)  Read more here


Israel’s coronavirus czar Professor Nachman Ash said Saturday that Israel has not reached herd immunity and expressed concerns about a new “Indian variant” found in the country.Read more here



Israel has registered eight cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India and it is believed that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is at least partially effective against it. Read more here





Israel closed agreements with Pfizer and Moderna on Monday to purchase millions of additional vaccines in 2022. The doses will be adapted to different variants of the virus, if necessary.Read more here


Israel is planning a second round of COVID-19 vaccination in six months’ time. Read more here


81% of  Israelis over the age of 16 have received 2 vaccine doses. Read more here




The SonoMask face mask, made by Israeli company Sonovia, has been found to not only provide over 99% protection against COVID-19, but also against the British variant. Read more here





The (Pfizer) vaccine does not alter female fertility, according to a recent study by a team from Hadassah-University Medical Centre. The study, which researchers describe as the first of its kind, is currently in the process of peer-review.Read more here


A study conducted by Sheba Medical Centre found that the past year saw a 65% drop in serious asthma cases requiring hospitalization. The drop was credited to widespread mask-wearing during the pandemic preventing pollen reaching the nose & mouth. Read more here






Israel is sending a team of doctors to Uruguay to help  deal with a growing number of new coronavirus cases. The Israeli delegation is being sent by Sheba Medical Centre’s Israel Centre for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response and before leaving, medical equipment is being sent to set up an operational critical-care coronavirus unit in Montevideo. Read more here






The Greek defence ministry  has signed a NIS 5.4 billion deal with an Israeli defence contractor for a flight simulation centre for the Hellenic Air Force. The move comes as part of deepening ties between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, amid shared concerns over Turkey’s increasingly aggressive actions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Read more here





During the coronavirus pandemic, the economy in the E.U. declined by 6.6% last year; by 3.5% in the U.S.; and by 5.5% on average in OECD countries, while Israel’s GDP contracted by 2.6%. Read more here





Gazan terrorists fired a rocket at southern Israel on Thursday night,  as the country’s Independence Day festivities came to a close. Read more here



In response, the IDF struck targets in the Gaza Strip early Friday, hitting Hamas sites  including an armaments production facility, a tunnel for smuggling weaponry and a military post. Read more here






In an Independence Day tradition, President Rivlin hosted the foreign diplomatic corps at his Jerusalem residence, this time with some new guests: the freshly appointed envoys to Israel of the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. The ambassadors of Jordan and Egypt also attended the celebratory event after avoiding it in past years.Read more here



The technologies making Israel proud in 2021 – article featuring a new Israeli 20 second COVID test, artificial corneas, drones, desalination and more…  Read more here





In the run-up to legislature elections set for 22 May, logos of 11 of the 36 Palestinian political parties appear to deny Israel’s existence by displaying a map of the entire region as Palestine. These include the dominant Palestinian movements, Fatah secularists and the Hamas terrorist group, as well as many smaller factions which all  use the same map which erases all of the State of Israel. Read more here





An Israeli yachtsman making his way home from Cyprus was invited to  join a British naval drill, involving a descent by a British serviceman  from a Royal Navy helicopter on to his yacht. Read more here






Israel’s Keter Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of resin-based household and garden consumer products, has announced a three-year partnership with Tel Aviv-based UBQ Materials, whose revolutionary technology turns landfill-destined household waste into thermoplastic. The partnership will produce “green” eco-friendly household goods.   Read more here






New Israeli technology will allow doctors to diagnose melanomas and other skin cancers in 10 seconds without cutting into the body. The Tel Aviv University team has broken new ground by pioneering a way to assess lesions using light while they are still on the body. Read more here



New Israeli research may pave the way for drugs that “turn off the hunger switch” in the human brain with minimal side effects. A receptor in the brain, melanocortin 4 (MC4), dubbed the “hunger switch.”is known to control the urge to eat.  Read more here






Cobra, an Israeli maker of automotive safety devices and door-locking systems, is launching its Mobile-Key technology, initially in Israel, which will enable drivers to open their vehicles via a smartphone app suitable for iOS and Android devices. Read more here





Zev Chafets: Israeli P.M. Netanyahu said earlier this month: “The nuclear deal with Iran is once again on the table. Such deals with extreme regimes are worthless. A deal with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not obligate us.”…A great majority of Israelis – including most opposition party leaders – share his view of the Iranian regime and its intentions. Even if he were to leave office tomorrow, his policy of resistance to a nuclear Iran would remain baked into the strategic doctrine and national psyche.
Netanyahu is open to a different Iran deal. He insists that any new deal come with no expiration date, permits invasive international inspection of military as well as civilian nuclear sites, restricts Iran’s missile and warhead capability and imposes sanctions on violators. Israel’s demands also include a bilateral agreement with the U.S. for support against Iranian aggression and terrorism launched from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the Red Sea. For Israel, a retreat to the old, flawed deal, as Iran is demanding, would portend something much worse. As much as Biden would like to stay neutral, sooner or later he will have to pick a side. Read more here