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Israel Update 12.8.21




Hezbollah fired 19 rockets at northern Israel from Lebanon last Friday morning, sending residents in a number of  Israeli towns  scrambling to shelters. 10 projectiles were intercepted by Iron Dome 6 in open areas and  another 3 rockets failed to clear the border and landed in Lebanese territory. Read more here



Angry Druze residents in a southern Lebanese village halted the Hezbollah crew with its rocket launchers that had fired into Israel on Friday, and detained its members until the Lebanese Army arrived. Some angry villagers could be heard protesting: “Hezbollah is firing rockets from between homes so that Israel hits us back.” Read more here





 (Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


5,946   (3,421) new Covid-19 cases were diagnosed in Israel,marking the third consecutive day with nearly 6,000 confirmed new cases. 421  (241) are in serious condition, with 65 (51) connected to ventilators.  41 serious patients are under 50, with 35 of them unvaccinated. 96% of all coronavirus-related fatalities over the past 30 days were over the age of 60. Read more here



Coronavirus cabinet met on Wednesday and agreed to implement a new set of restrictions from 18 August. The Green Pass will apply to everyone over the age of 3 and will extend to all branches of the economy except malls and places of commerce.Read more here



Despite the Delta variant, vaccines are delivering high protection, and the rate of serious infections in Israel is six times higher among older people who fail to inoculate than others in the same age bracket. Read more here



On Sunday, Israel set up 120 rapid Covid-19 testing centres, providing results in 15 minutes, across the country. Read more here






PM Bennett on Sunday urged Arab Israelis to get vaccinated, citing relatively lower inoculation rates in the community. Reportedly, around 83% of Arab Israelis over the age of 50 had been vaccinated as of late last week, compared with 92% in Israel as a whole. Some 51% of Arab Israelis have been vaccinated in total, compared with 66% of all Israeli citizens. Read more here



Israel is considering starting to administer a third coronavirus vaccine to people over 40, as the decline in [the vaccine’s] efficacy affects all ages. Read more here





The Health Ministry has approved the expanded use of MesenCure an innovative COVID-19 treatment that helped 15 out of 17 severe patients treated with it, it to be released from  hospital just one day after receiving their final dose. Read more here






The COVID-19 vaccine booster shot is highly effective for immunocompromised people, doubling the number of people who developed antibodies among patients who have received heart, lung or kidney transplants, according to early research results. Read more here






As of August 16, Israelis will be able to return from only 10 countries without having to quarantine, with only three of those destinations accepting Israeli tourists.  The UK will be removed from the travel ban list for Israel citizens; however arrivals will be required to go into quarantine for at least 7 days, depending on the results of two PCR tests. Read more here







Israel on Friday dispatched a team of  16 firefighters to Athens as thousands of people fled wildfires burning out of control in Greece, including a major blaze just north of the Greek capital. Israel is also shipping “a large amount of fire retardant material. Read more here






Bahrain’s Undersecretary for International Relations Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmad al Khalifa Kalifa during a four-day visit to Israel openly met an Israeli military commander in charge of Iran matters, in a further indication of the warming of ties between the countries following last year’s normalization deal. Khalifa criticised the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, saying that it had fuelled violence and unrest across the region and caused the death of innocents.Read more here







The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has announced an investigation into allegations of antisemitism and anti-Israel bias made against ten of its staffers throughout the Middle East. The UN Watch report found over one hundred posts it deemed in violation of UNWRA’s policy of neutrality and nonviolence from personnel stationed in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.  One UNRWA teacher had posted antisemitic conspiracy theories claiming Jews control the world, created the coronavirus and want to destroy Islam.  Read more here





After a wave of arson balloon attacks launched at Israel from Gaza last Friday, which ignited  at least four brush fires,  the IDF struck a Hamas camp and a rocket-launching position. Read more here




Bianco Resort, one of the Gaza’s most luxurious seaside tourist sites, was attacked last Thursday with an explosive device. The attack came after the resort was accused by Muslim extremists of holding a mixed gender concert. Read more here



Hamas prevented a team of United Nations inspectors from examining a tunnel discovered in June under a school in Gaza City. Read more here




Deadly rocket and mortar fire on Israeli towns by Palestinian terror groups during May’s conflict in Gaza constituted war crimes, Human Rights Watch  reported..Rockets that misfired or fell short also killed or wounded “an undetermined number of Palestinians in Gaza,” the group said. Of the over 4,360 unguided rockets and mortar shells fired toward Israeli population centres between May 10 and 21, approximately 680 failed and fell short within the Gaza Strip. Read more here





Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met the Moroccan Foreign Minister in Rabat. He inaugurated Israel’s mission there during the first visit by a senior Israeli official since 2003. Israel and Morocco had low-level diplomatic relations in the 1990s, but Morocco cut them off after the second intifada erupted in 2000. Read more here





In a pilot programme by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, 15 medium-size (Israeli) Watergen water-from-air machines were installed in parks and beaches in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Abu Dhabi emirate’s Western Region in May. 700 additional machines have been ordered, of which 500 are the newly released Genny home device. Read more here






A record number of female recruits joined Israel’s Border Police last week, with 320 women beginning training. The Border Police began deploying female officers in combat roles 25 years ago, pioneering the move for the rest of the security forces. Read more here






Researchers from four Israeli medical institutes have identified early signs in the body that indicate breast cancer is about to spread to other organs. The discovery could save millions of lives. They also discovered that the protein MYC speeds the growth of cancerous cells.(TY Michael) Read more here






Israeli surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital restored the sight of a toddler from Gaza, suffering from a malignant tumour that covered half her eye. The treatment took several months and included chemotherapy plus an innovative procedure using a direct, precise injection into the eye. (TY Michael) Read more here

Former MK Michael Eitan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 5 years ago. Surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital performed DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery which has significantly improved his quality of life although  he stresses that DBS is not a cure and that even as the symptoms recede, the disease continues to progress. Read more here




Rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram won Israel’s third-ever Olympic gold medal ending over two decades of Russian dominance in the sport. Ashram is the first Israeli woman to win an Olympic gold medal.  Read more here



Israel marked historic wins and achievements over the 17 days of competition, with its best-ever Olympic showing.  Having only ever won 7 medals previously, this time, Israel’s athletes took home four more including two gold. Read more here





A huge concentration of deep-water sharks and shark eggs were discovered near Tel Aviv by researchers from several Israeli research institutions in deep sea brine pools, presenting major implications for understanding both climate change and the deep sea. Read more here


For the first time ever recorded in Eilat, loggerhead turtles were seen hatching on a beach on Tuesday. Previously, the loggerhead turtle had only been seen on the Mediterranean coast.Read more here