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Israel update 24.6.21



Over 30 children and teens from seven African countries, the West Bank and Gaza are being treated at Wolfson Medical Centre near Tel Aviv for life-threatening heart conditions, the largest group of patients brought to Israel in over a year by Save a Child’s Heart, a charitable medical organization which has saved thousands of lives. The group has treated over 5,600 children from 62 countries since being founded in 1995, and has also screened and treated thousands more on missions abroad.Read more here




The requirement to wear a mask indoors will be restored next week, as Thursday marked the fourth day in a row that the country registered over 100 new daily cases and the new outbreaks that started in Binyamina and Modi’in spread to several more municipalities, including Kfar Saba, Ramle and Herzliya.Read more here


Top health officials on Wednesday  had warned that further coronavirus restrictions may be revived if infections continue to rise, as the daily case number passed 100 for a third straight day. Before Monday, new daily infections had not passed 100 since late April.Read more here


Israel empowered health officials on Wednesday to quarantine anyone deemed to have been exposed to the Delta variant of COVID-19, even if they were previously vaccinated or recovered from the disease with presumed immunity. Such exposure can include travelling on the same plane as a passenger who later tests positive. Read more here



P.M Bennett on Tuesday urged Israelis to avoid non-essential international travel noting that the recent coronavirus outbreak in Binyamina was traced to a family who returned from Cyprus, which is not considered a high-risk country. The Health Ministry was expected to announce the return of the mask mandate in hospitals, health clinics, old age homes, and in schools where there is a COVID outbreak.Read more here


Tuesday’s new cases included 64 children and teens, and 14 individuals entering the country from overseas Read more here


Health officials, blaming arrivals from abroad who did not adhere to quarantine rules as the prime cause of the outbreak, said that increased fines will likely be introduced to punish violators and those travelling to 6 countries on the Health Ministry blacklist. Testing has indicated that the Delta variant, first detected in India, is driving the outbreak. The IDF said that two female soldiers and a civilian contractor have been diagnosed with COVID-19, despite all three of them having been vaccinated. Read more here


Israel’s coronavirus czar on Monday warned that travelling abroad with children is “irresponsible”. Read more here




Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are far more likely to die or to end up in severe or critical condition if they are vitamin D-deficient, Israeli researchers have found. In a study conducted in a Galilee hospital, 26% of vitamin D-deficient coronavirus patients died, while among other patients the figure was at 3%. Read more here


Israel is seeing a spike in childhood illness RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) after it receded during the pandemic. Doctors speculate that lockdowns prevented virus infection, lowering immunity to it as the general population emerged from restrictions. Read more here


Israeli researchers have linked the Pfizer Covid vaccine to an increased risk in developing a rare blood disorder. Researchers found a “chronological connection” between the vaccine and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. TTP is an autoimmune disease that causes blood clots, which interfere with the flow of oxygen to crucial organs. Read more here


The Pfizer-BioNTech >PFE.N< vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19, a Pfizer official in Israel said on Thursday. Read more here




Vaccinated foreign tourists will not be allowed into Israel before August 1 and not from  July 1 as had been previously mooted. Read more here


A useful update including the current rules for entry for non-Israeli citizens who have first-degree relatives in the country. Note: the article refers to “apostle” when the correct term is “apostille”. Read it here





Israel is sharing with India its advanced technology for the rapid manufacturing of oxygen concentrators, generators and different kinds of respirators, having already sent batches of life-saving medical equipment to India, including over 1300 oxygen concentrators and 400 respirators. So far, the Israeli government has sent more than 60 tons of medical supplies, 3 oxygen generators, and 420 ventilators to India. (TY Michael O) Read more here






Israel-based startup OncoHost, the developer of a blood test to predict how well cancer patients will react to treatment, will collaborate with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to set up eight clinical trial sites. The trials will focus on patients diagnosed with advanced stages of melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer, aiming to predict their response to immunotherapy treatment. Read more here





In a first-of-its-kind study in the world conducted at Tel Aviv University, researchers found that water generated from the air in the heart of an urban area, the city of Tel Aviv, complied with all of the strict drinking water standards set both by the State of Israel and by the World Health Organization… The test was performed using a dedicated facility of the Israeli company Watergen which partnered in the study. This is the first study in the world to examine air pollution from another angle – its effect on drinking water generated from the air.Read more here



Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot has become a partner and investor in IXDen, a local startup that guards against the malfunctioning of interconnected devices, whether caused by cyberattack or routine wear and tear. The technology uses “behavioural biometrics” to protect critical systems. Read more here






Israel’sCellwize Wireless Technologies Inc., a maker of cloud and artificial intelligence-based software that can help speed up the deployment of 5G networks, has entered into an agreement with Intel Corp. for the US tech giant to include Cellwize technology in the chipsets it provides to cellular providers. Read more here



Haifa-based Tactile Mobility has launched the world’s first nationwide tactile data gathering project in partnership with Union Motors, the official importer of Toyota in Israel. Tactile Mobility’s tactile sensing and data technology will be installed in hundreds of Toyota vehicles across Israel as a mapping engine that offers a near real-time view of the road network to support maintenance, live hazard detection and post-accident analysis. Read more here



DeepOptics has developed a proprietary lens technology that seamlessly switches between far and near vision by reorientating the pixels in the glass. Read more here



As much as 35% of the world’s honey bees are dying each year, and if they become extinct, the global food chain could collapse.Israeli start-up Beewise has developed the world’s first robotic beehive that will help avert the honey bees’ fate, using artificial intelligence, robotics and software. Read more here





Tadiran’s Air Care 02 system is being installed in all 127 of Israel’s Cinema City’s cinemas. The system removes around 90% of all pollutants including mould, viruses and bacteria. Read more here





A plane-mounted laser developed by Israel’s Defence Ministry, successfully shot down several drones, in some cases from more than a kilometre away, as part of an initial test of the system. Read more here



Israel Aerospace Industries, along with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH, will manufacture and deliver 69 WatchGuard tactical mobile radar systems to the German Land Forces in a deal worth 36 million euros. The radar enables very high probability of target detection and tracking, and can be used day and night in all weather conditions. Read more here




Israel’s Elbit Systems defence electronics company is to supply software defined radios to the Swedish armed forces and night vision imaging systems to the US Army. Read more here



Boeing will integrate an anti-jamming system developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems into a fleet of F-15 fighter jets to be sold to an unnamed customer. Elbit’s Immune Satellite Navigation System ensures uninterrupted GPS operation, providing full jamming immunity for multiple satellite channels and can handle multiple interfering signals. Read more here





Israel will send an archer to the Olympics for the first time, as athlete Itay Shanny qualified on Monday for the Tokyo 2020 games, with a stellar performance in the final qualifying tournament held in Paris. Read more here






John Hagee and Amb. Nikki Haley: In Israel last week we saw the wreckage caused by the latest round of terrorist rockets. We were outside the home of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor – at least, what was left of it. She lost her legs and nearly her life. Her caretaker died when the house was destroyed. The next-door neighbour invited us into her home. It was badly damaged, too… Less than three weeks earlier, Israel’s citizens endured 11 straight days of rocket attacks. Hamas launched more than 4,300 rockets at Israeli schools, homes and synagogues. Their goal was to kill as many innocents as possible. Israel came through the crisis thanks to the Iron Dome and the iron will of its people.
Israel was completely in the right to take the fight to Hamas. With the terrorist leaders operating from hospitals, apartment buildings and even a foreign media hub, Israel targeted them with the utmost precision and protection for innocent Palestinians. Israel’s restraint is all the more remarkable given the threat it faces. Every Israeli citizen knows that Hamas would kill each and every one of them if given the chance. Read more here



Matti Friedman: Some Western observers have formed a picture of Israel only tenuously linked to reality. The shared narrative in Western Europe and North America is largely a negative one that grows increasingly negative as the ideological landscape of the West becomes more polarized and inflamed.
Too many mainstream journalists have abandoned old ideals such as objectivity for the idea that journalism is a tool to effect social change. Similar trends are afoot in the world of elite universities… Journalists who have become activists see their job not as helping you understand events, but as pushing you toward their conclusions. As soon as the press becomes activist, it becomes impossible to understand what’s going on.
Israel must be compared with other countries in similar situations…If someone is claiming that casualties in an Israeli operation in Gaza are “high,” that needs to be compared with similar operations, like the U.S. Marines in Fallujah, or the British in Northern Ireland. If you’re critical of open-fire orders on the Gaza fence, you should know how that works on the perimeters of U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. Most criticism of Israel doesn’t compare it with anything. Read more here





Tarantino talks (inter alia) about living in Tel Aviv and  learning Hebrew. View here