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Israel update 28.7.21



 (Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


Israel on Wednesday reported over 2,000 new COVID cases diagnosed a day earlier, for the second day in a row.

2,260 (1,336) people tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.

At least 153 (72) patients are in serious condition, of whom 28 (15) are ventilated.

According to the Health Ministry’s analysis, 102 of the severely ill patients are aged 65 and over, 76 of whom are fully vaccinated. At least 39 of severely ill are between the age of 40 and 65, while 16 of them are fully vaccinated. Six of severely ill are below the age of 40 but only one of them is fully vaccinated. 212 (120) of those diagnosed on Tuesday recently arrived from abroad. 62 from Turkey, 51 from Greece, 18 from the US, 18 from Georgia, 6 from Russia and 5 from Bulgaria. The Health Ministry’s special pandemic team is set to hold a meeting to discuss possible recommendation for a third vaccine shot. Read more here






While seriously ill patients spent 10 to 12 days on average in the hospital for the first six months of the year, that number dropped to roughly eight days on average during the first week of July. The latest figures appear to indicate that the latest uptick in cases caused by the Delta variant  is not as severe as previous waves over the past year and a half. Read more here



Health Ministry data indicates that 80% of vaccinated individuals who recently contracted breakthrough infections of COVID-19 have not infected others in public places. Research shows that the vast majority (80%) of immunized COVID-19 carriers did not spread the virus to anyone else while at concerts, restaurants, gyms or event halls. Read more here



People vaccinated before late February are twice as likely to catch the coronavirus than other inoculated Israelis according to a report, published by the Israeli healthcare provider Leumit. Other Israeli studies suggest a decreasing vaccine effectiveness, partly as a result of the Delta variant and partly because of the passage of time. However, British data indicates that the Israeli studies may be overstating the case.Read more here



A study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem published on Tuesday indicated that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing serious illness has fallen to 80%…. the study also indicated that  the shots are 90% effective in preventing deaths.Read more here






The Israeli government on Sunday approved a proposal authorizing  the revival of  electronic monitoring of returning travellers to ensure that they remain in quarantine. It is thought that the surveillance will be conducted using a phone application rather than electronic bracelets. Read more here






A delegation of four senior Israeli health professionals arrived in the Philippines this week for a six-day visit to share best practices in combating the coronavirus pandemic. Another Israeli delegation visited in June to assist with the vaccine roll-out. Read more here






An Israeli woman is scheduled to donate a kidney to a patient in the United Arab Emirates as part of a wider organ donation programme between the two countries.”We are now able to do things that weren’t possible before, thanks to the Abraham Accords, and helping citizens in the Gulf is a top priority for us,” said a spokesperson for Sheba Medical Centre in Israel. Read more here



A 50-year-old  Israeli kindergarten teacher has donated a kidney to a 3 year old Gazan boy. Read more here





There has been a sharp rise in Muslim recruitment to the IDF. Some 606 Muslim Arabs drafted to the IDF in 2020, compared to 489 in 2019 and 436 in 2018. More than half of the new recruits opted for combat roles. Dropout rates and unauthorized leave rates have also decreased. (TY Michael) Read more here




Lt. Col. Golan Vach, commander of the IDF National Rescue Unit personally found 20 victims in the debris.  His team helped the U.S. rescue teams that found another 81 victims by the time the last IDF member departed Surfside on July 11. What the untrained eye saw as a pile of rubble the IDF team viewed as a building in puzzle form. And each piece, whether a stone column, slab of concrete, or crushed family heirloom, pointed them toward where a victim might be found. Read more here





Israel is to provide work permits to 16,000 more Palestinians in a bid to strengthen the PA. Around 122,000 currently work legally in Israel and settlements and their incomes are important to the PA economy. Read more here






Israel has been granted official observer status at the African Union after seeking this for nearly two decades.    Israel had previously held observer status at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), but was long thwarted in its attempts to get it back after the OAU was disbanded in 2002 and replaced by the AU. The Palestinian Authority already has observer status at the AU.Read more here






Palestinian factions and human rights organizations have called on Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups to stop storing weapons in residential areas following another explosion, which killed one person and injured 14 others, including six children, on Thursday. A three-story house was partially destroyed, while neighbouring houses and shops were damaged. Read more here



IDF jets struck a series of Hamas targets in Gaza late Sunday after incendiary balloons launched from the Strip sparked several fires in Israel. One target, a Hamas military base, was located “adjacent to civilian sites, including a school.” Read more here






Two Israeli airlines, Israir and El Al launched direct flights between Israel and Marrakesh in Morocco on Sunday, eight months after the two countries reached a normalization deal. Read more here






King Abdullah II of Jordan told CNN on Sunday that Jordan has witnessed attacks on “Israel from Syria and Lebanon to an extent, and what misses Israel, sometimes lands in Jordan…and unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out, that are Iranian signature that we have had to deal with in the past year or so and escalated. Read more here



In the same interview the King revealed that he had secretly met Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defence Minister Benny Gantz. Read more here



Israeli soldiers arrested five unarmed border infiltrators from Jordan, believed to be illegal immigrants, on Saturday. Read more here



Jordan has thwarted an attempt by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists to kill IDF soldiers near the border with Israel. Four ISIS terrorists were arrested in February in connection with the planned attack. Read more here





Multinational giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel and Nvidia are all setting up or expanding their chip design operations in Israel. The move toward Israel is being driven by a shift toward digitalization compounded by a global shortage of chips being felt across industries, spurring chipmakers and tech firms to begin developing their own semiconductors so they can expand operations. Read more here






A team at Meir Medical Centre performed multiple surgeries on a 20-year old Indian woman, born with a cleft palate & tongue, enabling her to speak normally. Shambhavi “Sam” Jha came to live in the country when her father became manager of an Indian bank in Israel. Her parents have since returned but she is staying in Israel and studying psychology and communications through the Tel Aviv University International Programme.Read more here






Israeli Olympic team members killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics were remembered with a moment of silence during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, the first time in 49 years this has happened. The families of the 11 victims had long asked the International Olympic Committee to hold a minute’s silence at a Games opening ceremony, but had always been turned down. Read more here



Avishag Semberg (19) became Israel’s youngest ever medallist and the first Israeli to win a taekwondo match at the Olympics, when she took the bronze medal in the  women’s -49kg category. Read more here



The Israeli coach of the Czech Republic’s national men’s basketball team shook hands with his Iranian counterpart, during the Olympics tournament Sunday, in a rare exchange between members of the two nations.Read more here


A second judoka has pulled out of the Olympics judo competition seemingly to avoid facing Israeli Tohar Butbul, days after his scheduled opponent in a previous round was suspended for doing the same. Butbul was listed as having “No competitor” in what should have been a bout with Sudan’s Mohamed Abdalrasool in the men’s 73-kg division. Read more here


A representative of the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that it is “monitoring” reports that two judokas forfeited their matches rather than face an Israeli opponent, and vowed to “take all necessary measures” against the athletes. Read more here


Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei has dedicated his Silver Olympic medal to Israel, to thank the country for its support since he defected from Iran two years ago. Mollaei left Iran and took on Mongolian citizenship after Iranian trainers ordered him to lose a match in the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo to avoid facing Israeli opponent, Sagi Muki, in the finals. Read more here


Dozens of Israeli cybersecurity companies are among those securing the Olympic Games. Read more here





Israel’s Religious Affairs Minister has announced a plan to reform Israel’s kosher certification system, effectively turning the Chief Rabbinate into a regulatory agency for private kosher certifiers like Tzohar. More than 200 Israeli restaurants had eschewed the Chief Rabbinate’s kosher certification in favour of Tzohar’s. Read more here