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Israel Update 29.4.21







On Friday night and Saturday, 38 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli border communities in the most serious assault in a year and a half. 7 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system, while some fell on the Gazan side of the fence. Israel responded with airstrikes and tank fire on Hamas targets.Read more here


Terrorists in Gaza fired 5 rockets toward Israel for the third night in a row on Sunday and early Monday. 2 rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome, 2 landed inside Gaza, and one struck an open field. In response, Israel closed the Gaza fishing zone on Monday morning. 4 people, including a pregnant woman, were lightly wounded after falling while running to bomb shelters. Read more here


2 mortar shells were fired toward Israel after midnight Tuesday, with both projectiles falling inside Gaza. The launches triggered warning sirens in nearby Israeli communities Read more here




There were several attacks by Arabs on Jews in Jerusalem over the weekend. On Saturday, a man was attacked by two assailants, while another Jewish man  was beaten by a group of Arab youths on Friday. A number of Jews reported being attacked on their way to prayers at the Western Wall. Other attackers threw stones and confronted Jewish pedestrians.In the Silwan neighbourhood, Jewish residents reported having firebombs and stones thrown at them. A number of cars belonging to Jews were pelted with stones. On Friday evening, following Ramadan prayers at the Temple Mount, Arabs threw stones and set off fireworks directed at Israeli police forces. Read more here


A new trend appears to be gaining momentum among Arab youths in Jerusalem, who videotape themselves harassing Jews as a “challenge,” which they then upload to the social media platform TikTok.Read more here


An Israeli man who was badly beaten by an Arab mob Friday night , and  subsequently hospitalized, believes he was “a hair’s breadth from death” and described the events in the city as “a Third Intifada.” Read more here


A man, 68, was lightly injured in the face Monday when a rock was thrown at his car as he drove past the Old City of Jerusalem.Read more here


(The violence) started when Fatah activists attacked policemen stationed near the Old City of Jerusalem and Jewish passersby. The Fatah members claimed their actions were to protest strict Israeli security measures, including a ban on gatherings of youths at Damascus Gate. Police say the measures are necessary as a safety precaution and among other things protect Muslim worshippers going to the Aksa Mosque on Temple Mount… The counter demonstration on Thursday organized by the Jewish far-right Lehava movement exacerbated an already tense situation but was not the trigger for the violence. Read more here




(last  week’s  figures in brackets for comparison where available)


There were 100  (141) new coronavirus cases in Israel on Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported Thursday. There are 1,570 active cases, with 185 people hospitalized. 118 (193) are in serious condition, including 65 on ventilators. (By comparison, on March 31, Israel had 492 new daily cases, with 384 people in serious condition). Read more here


For the first time in ten months, no new COVID-19 daily deaths were reported last Thursday  in Israel.Read more here


Four vaccinated Israelis have been infected with the Indian coronavirus variant out of a total of 41 cases found in Israel. Read more here




Amid Israel’s vaccination success, there are still some 800,000 adults refusing to get shots, many of them Haredi (ultra-orthodox). Read more here






Israel and Bahrain on Thursday reached a trailblazing agreement to mutually recognize each other’s vaccinations and the Green Pass given to those fully inoculated or recovered, following the successful immunization drives in both nations. Vaccinated individuals from both nations will be exempt from quarantine upon arrival to either country.  Read more here






Prominent scientists say the transformation of Israel from a COVID-19 hotspot to a vaccination success story underlines that any developed country can subdue the virus. They estimate that a relatively small number of vaccinations are needed to take a country out of crisis mode. When half of the population aged 60-plus is inoculated, authorities can expect a dramatic drop in cases and hospitals are safe from being overwhelmed, they conclude. Read more here




Details from an unpublished Israeli Health Ministry report into the side effects of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine have raised concerns that there could be a link between the second shot and several dozen cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, particularly in men under 30, although no link has been conclusively proved. Out of over 5 million people vaccinated in Israel, there were 62 recorded cases of myocarditis following the shot.  56 of those cases came after the second shot and most of the affected were men under 30. “We cannot yet tell if there are more cases than normal or if there are similar numbers annually and the proximity is just a coincidence. Efforts to collect more data are continuing,”.Read more here




Taking a coronavirus vaccine won’t harm ovary function, and neither will catching COVID-19, Israeli researchers have concluded in a study that might reassure vaccine hesitaters and recovered patients alike. Read more here






An Israeli non-profit, IsraAID is dispatching a large shipment of medical aid, including oxygen machines to India. Read more here




An Israeli aid delegation landed Tuesday in Uruguay, which now has the world’s second-highest rate of new cases. The four-person team from Sheba Medical Centre’s weeklong mission will focus on helping hospitals to establish new coronavirus facilities. Authorities in Uruguay asked Sheba’s Israel Centre for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response for help, and the hospital responded by shipping equipment, including ECG machines and ventilators, and assembling the aid team. Read more here




A medical aid team from Assuta University Hospital in Ashdod will embark on a 14-day mission to Ethiopia.Read more here




IsraAID is sending a team of Israeli emergency responders to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a chain of islands in the Caribbean, where a volcano on the main island has been spewing ash since earlier this month, endangering lives and homes. Over 20,000 people have been displaced. Read more here





Doctors at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa have saved the life of a 7-year-old boy from Gaza after performing a complex 11-hour medical procedure involving three simultaneous surgeries. Doctors had to reconstruct the boy’s bladder, implant a new kidney donated from his mother and connect the new kidney to the reconstructed bladder.Read more here






The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution condemning the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency for “hate speech and violence taught in Palestinian school textbooks and used in schools by UNRWA.” The resolution insists that financial aid be conditioned on the removal of educational materials that promote hatred and incitement to violence.Read more here






For the first time in its history, Israel ranks among the top 20 economies based on GDP per capita in 2020, Forbes Israel reports, based on IMF data. Read more here








Prominent among Israel’s massive hi-tech sphere are thousands of innovative companies with a huge impact on environmental protection. As the world recently marked Earth Day this article looked at several Israeli developments including: solar energy, water leak detection, water investment, crop management, green thermoplastic manufacturing and Pika Diapers, a self-contained storage and washing system that makes it easy to reuse cloth diapers (nappies).Israel recently announced the launch of its new 30-year environmental plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.Read more here






HRW Report



JPostEditorialHRW’s exploitation of the apartheid image in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a cynical appropriation of the suffering of the victims of the actual apartheid regime. As anyone who lives here knows, the HRW claims are patently false. Any analogy between Palestinians in Israel today and blacks in South Africa in the second half of the 20th century not only diminishes the horrors of apartheid, but feeds the very hatred it is purportedly targeting. Read more here




Ben-Dror Yemini: A most dangerous and mendacious report. Indeed, the harshest criticism of the organization came from the very man who founded it, Robert Bernstein, who wrote that, “Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields.”   The problem is that this is not really a report. It is a systematic collection of anti-Israel material emanating from those same organizations that Shakir (the author) already supports…Shakir did no fact checking or investigations of his own, and the concept of fairness does not even come into it. He pored over anti-Israel publications that pretend to be objectively critical and gathered anything that matched his pre-established hostility. The outcome was decided in advance.  Read more here




“It is not the view of this administration that Israel’s actions constitute apartheid,” a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday. Read more here



Gerald Steinberg:  a quick read reveals the same mix of shrill propaganda, false allegations, and legal distortions marketed by the NGO network for decades….By drawing a direct line to South Africa and labelling the Jewish state as inherently racist, the goal is to delegitimize the concept of Jewish sovereign equality, regardless of borders or policies.  Read more here



Violence in Jerusalem and Rocket Attacks from Gaza



JPost Editorial: There is no excuse for firing 40 rockets on a civilian population; not riots in Jerusalem and not the Ramadan festival.    Read more here




From PMW: Violence has once again flared up in Jerusalem. The outburst of violence was not spontaneous. It was not a response to any Israeli action. Rather it came on the heels of intensive and focused Palestinian Authority incitement to violence and terror…In the days before Ramadan, official PA TV broadcast a terror-promoting song and accompanying visuals of violence at least 20 times. Read more here





Herb Keinon: Ramadan, which began on April 12 and will end on May 12, has historically been a time of increased violence and terror in Jerusalem…the latest violence in Jerusalem began on the first day of Ramadan when activists affiliated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction attacked policemen near the Old City with fireworks, rocks and petrol bombs…this was part of a campaign to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinian elections to take place in Jerusalem. Once a fire was lit in Jerusalem, terrorist groups in Gaza could not sit quietly, and Hamas could not be seen as preventing them from shooting rockets at Israel.    Read more here




Adele Raemer (resident of an Israeli community on the Gaza periphery):  Once again I find myself running for safety in the middle of the night, closing my saferoom’s protective iron shutters, waking up in the morning with my head murky and sluggish from lack of sleep, and in a situation forcing us to cancel my granddaughter’s birthday party. Because what sane resident of the Western Negev would take the chance of holding a garden party with 20 6-year-olds, after a night of rocket fire? On the border, we are again asking ourselves, what is the potential explosiveness of this situation?Read more here