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Israel Update 10.6.21



Slowly, further information is emerging about some of the incidents that occurred during the recent war in Gaza.


At the end of May, UNRWA, the UN Palestinian refugee agency, found what “appears to be a cavity and a possible tunnel, at the location of the missile strike,” under the UNRWA Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School “A” and Elementary Boys’ School “A.” “The depth of the cavity is approximately 7.5 metres below the surface of the school.  “UNRWA condemns the existence and potential use by Palestinian armed groups of such tunnels underneath its schools in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff be placed at risk in such a way,” Read more here



Hamas worked on a device to disrupt the Iron Dome missile defence system in the same building in Gaza as the Associated Press’s office, which Israel bombed during Operation Guardian of the Walls.  Read more here



During the 2021 Gaza War, the IDF fired five of their most advanced  missiles. However, while they were in the air, they received new, updated intelligence making it unclear whether combatants were at the target site. The IDF opted to divert the missiles toward the sea, for the avoidance of doubt. They held their fire at the last minute. Just one example of how the IDF did everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. Read more here



Credible public opinion polls conducted by the Palestine Centre for Public Opinion over the past decade demonstrate that most Gazans have consistently opposed the Hamas policy of firing rockets or incendiary balloons at Israel, as well as the Hamas-sponsored protests at the border fence. The majority have typically supported a cease-fire and even open economic relations with Israel. Half or more have also voiced the view that Hamas should drop its calls for the destruction of Israel. Overall, the large majority of Gazans, according to the most recent polls, reject Hamas rule altogether. Read more here





Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the publication of P.A. textbooks which encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.according to an unpublished report commissioned by the European Union in 2019. Read more here



U.S. Secretary of State Blinken confirmed that the Biden administration’s renewal of funding for UNRWA, is conditional on anti-Israel and anti-Jewish education reform. Read more here






An incendiary balloon sent from the Gaza Strip sparked a fire in a wheatfield in southern Israel on Monday last week, the first confirmed incendiary balloon fire since the ceasefire. Read more here



Israel’s Iron Dome defence system saved hundreds of Israeli lives, intercepting over 1,400 rockets that were aimed at residential neighbourhoods, shopping centres, and hospitals.” Read more here



In a policy shift in the wake of the 2021 Gaza War, Israel has conditioned Gaza’s rehabilitation on the return of Israel’s fallen soldiers and captive civilians in Hamas hands. Read more here



During the recent conflict, there were an average of 400 rocket attacks each day, nearly four times the average during the 2014 War or the 2006 Second Lebanon War. 120 rockets were fired toward central Israel, including Tel Aviv. Ashkelon was the target of 111 barrages of 960 rockets. Ashdod was targeted by 253 rockets and suffered much physical damage..This time the Israeli civilians living near Gaza were protected from terrorist infiltration through attack tunnels thanks to underground and aboveground barriers constructed at a cost of more than $1 billion. Read more here



Israeli architecture student Raz Sror, 24 repaired a wall damaged by rocket fire with Lego bricks. Read more here





An Israel Prize-winning former head of the country’s space programme, died on Sunday, weeks after he was critically injured when Arab rioters torched the hotel where he was staying in the northern town of Acre. Avi Har-Even, 84, sustained significant burns and suffered from smoke inhalation. Read more here






Israel has come first in the Global Pandemic Resilience Index, published by global consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre. 40 countries were compared as to vaccination approval, vaccination drive, time lags that put breaks on giving vaccines, critical care bed capacity and mass testing.  (TY Michael O)
Read more here



If there is no spike in Israel’s coronavirus infection rate in the next few days, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted on June 15.   Read more here


6 new cases were reported in Israel on Wednesday. There are 208 active coronavirus case of whom, 33 were in serious condition and 19 were on ventilators. Read more here






Thousands of Israelis ages 12-15 signed up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, the first day that the shot was available to that age group.  Read more here



Israeli researchers are recommending that health authorities around the world make the most of often limited vaccine supplies by adopting a single-dose vaccine protocol for all under-30s. Their analysis has convinced them that this age group achieves a very high level of immunity (around 80%) with just one shot. Read more here





An Israeli-made oral COVID vaccine, MigVax, has performed well on rats, and its inventors hope to have it ready as a booster dose for humans within nine months. Read more here





The PA on Sunday handed $42,000 to the family of a terrorist who had murdered two Israelis. On Oct. 3, 2015, he stabbed Aaron Benita, who was on his way to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with his family and  Rabbi Nehemia Lavi who heard screams and cameto help.  Read more here




Israel was elected for the first time to serve as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Monday, receiving 154 votes, more than two-thirds of the vote of UN member states. Read more here






Honduras will open an embassy in Jerusalem this month, having  previously opened a commercial office in the capital. Read more here







Six Israeli F-35 stealth fighters are taking part in a two-week air exercise in Italy, alongside planes from the US, UK & Italy, in the largest and farthest overseas drill to date. Israeli F-35 jets have taken part in international exercises in the past,  but this will be the first time that the aircraft will fly alongside F-35 planes from three other countries. Read more here



The US army is quadrupling the attack range of its Apache helicopters with Israeli-made Spike missiles. Separately, the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command are testing Spike missiles. Read more here






Cybersecurity researchers at Israel’s Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. identified four vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office software suite, including Excel and Office. Microsoft  was informed of the vulnerability and the issues have been now fixed.   Read more here





An Israeli-invented no needle blood test, a handheld device which gathers data by scanning blood vessels in the eye, is to be tested in the International Space Station in October. Read more here



Israel’s Soroka Medical Centre and a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, will be working together to adapt military technologies to the medical field. Read more here



The Nerivio therapeutic wearable for treating migraine pain from Israel’s Theranica  won “Best New Technology Solution for Pain Management” award in the 2021 MedTech Breakthrough Awards programme. It beat more than 3,850 nominations from 17 countries. (TY Michael O) Read more here



Israeli-Arab Technion PhD graduate Hanan Abumanhal has discovered that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) increases the potency of chemotherapy. For her doctorate, she developed nano particles to reduce the acidity of tumours, allowing reduced quantities of chemo to penetrate. (TY Michael O) Read more here





Israel’s Playermaker makes a shoe-mounted device used to track performance by some 150 soccer academies and teams including Liverpool and Arsenal. It has now been accepted by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) for its Innovation Programme.(TY Michael O) Read more here






Israel’s Roy Nissany, driving a Williams Dams, achieved his maiden FIA Formula 2 Championship podium finish. Dissany, who is Williams Racing’s official test driver, finished third in the first Sprint Race in Monaco. (TY Michael O) Read more here





Tel Aviv University and an unnamed university in the UAE have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint Israeli-Emirati Water Research Institute.The institute will have researchers focusing on finding water resources and solutions for desert areas and will also enable student and faculty exchange programmes.  Read more here






Supermodel Bella Hadid, a pro-Palestinian activist, shared a 1939 photo featuring the “Palestine” soccer team on Instagram, calling the story: “So cool.” However, the picture was of an all-Jewish soccer team from British Mandatory Palestine and the players had Hebrew written on their jerseys. Read more here






Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi (Chairman of the Defence Affairs, Interior and Foreign Relations Committee of the UAE’s Federal National Council.)…the Middle East conflict isn’t between the Israelis and Palestinians but between Israel and Iran. The Palestinian people’s rights and hopes have been hijacked by Hamas to serve an Iranian agenda. One of the biggest errors in the media narrative, which I saw repeated over and over, was the way they speak about Gaza as if it’s occupied by the Israelis. It’s not: It’s occupied by Hamas. And the Palestinian people in Gaza are suffering because of Hamas, not the Israelis. Read more here



Joshua Beylinson: The Myth of Arab Displacement in Eastern Jerusalem.

EXTRACT: It should be noted that the case of Sheikh Jarrah is unusual: According to Bell, “the [Israeli] 1970 Law and Administrative Arrangements Law (Consolidated Version) preserved the rights of private parties who received a title from the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property.” Accordingly, Israel respects the ownership of land by Arabs.   However, the Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah were never granted ownership of the property by the Jordanians. If they had been, Israel would have respected their rights, despite the Jordanian practice of confiscating land from Jewish landowners in eastern Jerusalem. (Further interesting points re Silwan follow) Read more here



Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: EXTRACTS: Yet despite Israel’s strict adherence to international law and the use of limited proportionate force against the terrorist targets, the unrelenting global hate chorus accuses the IDF of war crimes. Hamas has been very clever in selling itself as the victim on social media, and the new battlefield front of multidimensional public opinion…Hamas controlled the language used to discuss the conflict. Its supporters inserted terms “disproportionate use of force,” “occupation,” and “apartheid,” into every tweet, post, and appearance on CNN, the BBC, and MSNBC…Creating a ridiculous narrative would not have been possible without Hamas masterfully manipulating the seemingly unbiased world of journalism.

Read more here



James Kirchick: EXTRACT: Yet casting the Israel-Hamas conflict as racial is nonsensical. A majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens trace their roots from North Africa and the Middle East. Their skin tone mirrors that of Arab Palestinians. Read more here



Jake Wallis Simons: EXTRACT. At present only the military wing of Hamas is proscribed by the UK government. Given the recent hostilities, Britain cannot continue to defend its Janus-faced stance on Hamas, one of the world’s most insidious and brutal Islamist terror groups.The dividing line between civilians and combatants simply does not exist in the world of Hamas. Read more here



Daniel Gordis:EXTRACT When it comes to the Palestinians, Israelis are fairly united. There’s no deal with the Palestinians looming anywhere on the horizon, regardless of which parties form the coalition. The Palestinians have repeatedly rejected overtures from Israeli leaders like Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu, and even Barack Obama could not get Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table. Israeli politics changed because even centrist and left-of-centre Israelis have despaired of the Palestinians making a deal. Read more here