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Israel Update 22.7.21





Israel’s coronavirus cabinet decided today Thursday, that the list of countries under travel ban – which Israelis cannot visit unless they obtain a permission from the designated governmental committee – will be expanded to include Britain, Turkey, Cyprus, and Georgia starting from Friday, July 30. It already included Uzbekistan, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Spain, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.Read more here


Last Friday’s travel rules summarized. From 23 July, travellers arriving from additional countries will be required to go into quarantine for 7 days while travel is forbidden to some additional countries. Read more here




 (Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


Israel on Thursday reported that 1,336  (765) people have tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours. 72  (54) patients were in serious condition, 15  (16) of them connected to ventilators.  Some 120 of the new patients had recently returned from abroad. The coronavirus cabinet was set to meet 1pm Thursday, with officials estimating that new restrictions are necessary in order to curb the surge in cases.  Read more here


As at Sunday, only one of 61 Israelis hospitalized with COVID in serious condition was a fully vaccinated individual under the age of 60. Reportedly, 24 of those in serious condition were unvaccinated, while 37 were fully vaccinated. The lone seriously ill fully vaccinated person under 60 was in the 50-59 age group. No fully vaccinated individuals under age 50 were in serious condition. Meanwhile, among the unvaccinated, 14 people under age 50 were in serious condition, two of whom were under 40. Read more here


On Friday, P.M. Bennett said protection afforded by COVID-19 vaccines was “weaker than we’d hoped” against the surging Delta variant. He said, “Our goal is to allow routine life to continue with adjustments to the coronavirus.”The government’s aim was to provide the public with clear directives with enough advance warning to prepare, “without surprises, without panic and mainly through forward planning.” Read more here




Israeli scientists at a Jerusalem lab have identified three existing drugs that have good prospects as COVID-19 treatments, reporting that they illustrated high ability to fight the virus in lab tests. Read more here




Israel is to become the first country to test an oral covid-19 vaccine as Oravax Medical prepares to begin clinical trials.  Read more here



A group of Iranian expatriates, including former political prisoners, will visit Israel this week for a 4 day visit to express their support with Israeli citizens after the recent clashes with Iran-sponsored Palestinian terrorist groups. The mission seeks to “rekindle millenia-old ties between the people of Iran and Israel in defiance of the Islamic Republic’s ongoing genocidal antisemitism,”. Read more here





Ben & Jerry’s has operated in Israel for close to 35 years, with a factory in Be’er Tuvia. On Tuesday, they announced that they would no longer sell their products in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” and was ending its contract with its Israeli licensee, which refused to participate in the boycott, when it expires in 2022. Read more here



Ben & Jerry’s Israel said it has seen its sales grow in a sign of solidarity after the US ice-cream brand decided to cancel the license agreement with its local partner….Ben & Jerry’s Israel CEO said: “Ice cream is not part of politics. We call on Israelis to continue to buy Israeli products that support hundreds of workers in the southern region.” Read more here



Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever.  Read more here


Ben & Jerry’s decision to halt sales of their ice cream in the West Bank will harm Palestinian workers.
The Sagi Group, which distributes two tons of ice cream to Jerusalem and the West Bank every week, employs Palestinians who enjoy working conditions and salaries they could not earn under the Palestinian Authority. Read more here


Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope  said on Thursday that the company was “fully committed” to its business in Israel.He said the group had invested 1 billion shekels ($306 million) in Israel over the past decade and was invested in its startup culture and social programmes adding that: “This (boycott) was a decision taken by Ben & Jerry’s and its independent board.    Read more here




Israel and Morocco recently signed an accord for cybersecurity co-operation, including joint R&D projects and the sharing of information & knowledge. Read more here





Two rockets were launched from Lebanon into western Galilee early Tuesday. One rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system. The IDF responded with artillery fire and said it believed “Palestinian elements” in Lebanon are responsible. Read more here



IDF soldiers arrested two suspects in northern Israel Thursday morning after they were spotted crossing the border from Lebanon into Israel overnight, The two were reportedly migrant workers.. Read more here





Brig.-Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi was named the new IDF military advocate general on Thursday.
She will receive the rank of major general  upon entering her position. Read more here


Lt.-Col.  “C,” 39,  a mother of four has been promoted to the position of Deputy Commander of the Digital Division of IDF Intelligence Unit 8200. Read more here



Unilabs, a Switzerland-based international provider of diagnostic services, and Ibex Medical Analytics, headquartered in Tel Aviv have signed an agreement to use a maker of AI-based cancer diagnostic software developed by the Israeli firm in pathology labs across Europe. Starting with a national rollout in Sweden, Unilabs will then bring Ibex’s platform to 16 more countries. Read more here


Israel’s MediWound said that a key clinical trial of its NexoBrid pineapple gel for treating children with severe thermal burns, showed a “significant reduction” in the time taken for complete removal of dead tissue caused by a burn plus “significant reduction” in the wound area needing surgery .Read more here





Most modern electric vehicles take anything between 30 minutes and 12 hours to charge, depending on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging station.  StoreDot, an Israeli technology company, is now producing an “extreme fast charging” battery that can gain 100 miles of range in just five minutes. The company is hoping to mass produce the batteries in 2024. Read more here


The Central Bottling Company, also known as Coca-Cola Israel, has signed a strategic agreement with Israeli startup Biomilk to invest and collaborate with the firm to develop products based on its cultured milk technology. Biomilk isolates the milk-producing cells from cows’ udders and transfers them to a bioreactor, where they are exposed to materials patented by the firm to produce milk, but without needing a cow in the final milk-producing process.Read more here


The Costa Group, Australia’s leading grower of hydroponic glasshouse tomatoes, is to deploy the pollination robots of Israel’s Arugga.(TY Michael) Read more here



American transport planes touched down in Israel on Tuesday night, bringing US Air Force troops and equipment to take part in an in-person follow-up to an air defence exercise that was held virtually earlier this year. Read more here





A multinational team of marine scientists set sail from Eilat to Sudan Tuesday, to start a groundbreaking project to assess the health of corals throughout the Red Sea. The six coral experts, from Israel, Switzerland, France and the UK, will meet six Sudanese researchers at Port Sudan for studies due to last until September Read more here



Tel Aviv’s city council has approved a motion setting up a DNA database and stating that dog owners will be required to submit their pets’ genetic details to authorities upon receiving or renewing a license. This makes it possible to take samples from dog faeces and thus enforce fines against dog owners who allow their pets to foul public areas. The regulations won’t apply to guide dogs or to dogs kept by animal protection organizations.Read more here





Israel’s largest even delegation of 89 athletes is in Tokyo with medal prospects in (inter alia) gymnastics & judo. Read more here





Israel will host the 2021 Miss Universe pageant for the first time in December. The pageant will be held in Eilat. Read more here





Former players from Barcelona and Real Madrid, including Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Figo,  played a “game of legends” match at Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Real Madrid won 3-2. Read more here






Herb Keinon:The record needs to be set straight: A few hundred Jews ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, the day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples that stood on that mount, does not constitute “settlers storming al-Aqsa.” It constitutes Jews wanting to visit their holiest site on the fast day dedicated to remembering the Temples that once stood there, and their destruction…Israel cannot allow the threat of violence to determine its policies. Israel also has the right to expect that 1,700 Jews going to the Temple Mount not be falsely framed as an assault on al-Aqsa. Those who frame it in this manner want to ignite passions and invite violence.To say that any Jew going up to the site on Tisha B’Av is somehow a provocation or a desecration – as claimed by Hamas, Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkish President Erdogan – is not something that Israel should have to accept.Read more here



Honest Reporting: Ben & Jerry’s has weighed in on a complex conflict, and its managers have, apparently based on their experience producing sugary cream, unilaterally decided what the future borders of a hundred-year conflict should look like…..Read more here



David Suissa: Some issues simply go too far, and Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territories” was one of those. Unlike previous companies subjected to boycotts, Ben & Jerry’s makes its ice cream inside Israel. It doesn’t even operate any ice cream stores over the 1967 lines. But by targeting sales to the West Bank rather than products made there, Ben & Jerry’s is setting an alarming precedent….We’ve seen this singling out of Israel over and over by groups that ignore genocides and mass murders to go after the world’s only Jewish state. When a beloved brand joins the anti-Israel parade so loudly and forcefully, it concentrates the mind about the unfair and discriminatory targeting of Israel. Read more here


Blogger David Lange: Ben & Jerry’s announcement seems to be ‘peak BDS’:

Trying to exclusively punish the Jewish state while ignoring actual human rights abuses around the world

Ending up punishing Palestinian Arabs, who are those the BDS movement claims to be helping. In this case, not only will Palestinian Arab employees of the Israeli licensee end up losing their jobs, but Palestinian Arabs will no longer be able to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Read more here


J.Post Editorial: The virtue-signalling announcement of the very woke, Vermont-based brand aggravates because of the utter hypocrisy. This move is meant to signal that the ice cream company cares about human rights, yet it is giving back wind to a movement whose ultimate goal is the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state, thereby denying Jews their basic right of self-determination….

It is also worth noting what a Facebook user wrote in response to the announcement: “Thank you and we Palestinians hope more companies will boycott the Apartheid state. We deserve equality, freedom, and justice in the whole of our homeland from the river to the sea.”

That’s what this is about. It’s not about not being able to buy Cherry Garcia ice cream in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighbourhood and ending a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria – it’s about dismantling the Jewish state from “the river to the sea.”

This is why Ben & Jerry’s action has to be taken seriously and combated strenuously.

Yes, it’s only ice cream – and no, a Ben & Jerry’s boycott will not significantly hurt Israel’s economy. But what it does do is legitimize those who want to de-legitimize Israel and call into question its right to exist within any borders: something that Jerusalem must fight with all means at its disposal.  Read more here