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Israel Update 19.8.21




Gazan terrorists fired two rockets towards the Israeli town of Sderot on Monday afternoon in the first such attack since May’s 11-day conflict . The Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted one of the rockets, while the second fell short landing inside Gaza.   Read more here



Reportedly, Israel has so far avoided responding militarily due to sensitive ongoing negotiations with Hamas. Read more here






Emergency services said Tuesday that they had gained full control of the flames following a three-day battle. Over 2,000 people had been evacuated from their homes since Sunday, when the fire started. Some residents lost their homes, others their life’s work. A psychiatric hospital nearly went up in flames, and had been dramatically evacuated. During the 52-hour battle, 1,500 firefighters had participated. 6,200 acres of forest were consumed. Read more here



Firefighters  sent by the Palestinian Authority  helped to extinguish the wildfires. Read more here



A fire reignited in the Jerusalem Hills on Thursday, with 12 firefighting teams and four firefighting aircraft  battling the flames.    Read more here





 (Last week’s figures in brackets for comparison)


7,856  (5496) new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Israel on Wednesday, with 603 (421) patients in serious condition, with 106 (65) on ventilators. Read more here


According to Israel’s coronavirus commissioner, the infection rate in  ultra-Orthodox (haredi) society is higher than in the Arab and general community. Read more here


Israel on Wednesday re-imposed restrictions on gatherings and reintroduced rules requiring social distancing in businesses. Face masks are mandatory in all closed spaces, apart from one’s place of residence, as well as in outdoor gatherings of at least 100 people. Other new rules apply. Read more here



Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) is the first hospital to use ultra-violet (UV) light to disinfect medical spaces with the J. Protect system, from Israel’s Juganu. Bacteria, fungi and viruses are killed in one hour. (TY Michael) Read more here






P.M Bennett visited a Taibe vaccination centre and met leaders from the Israeli-Arab community in an effort to increase the low rate of Arab-Israeli vaccinations. Read more here




Israel began offering a third coronavirus vaccine dose to those over the age of 50 on Friday. Read more here/




An overnight mass vaccine drive aimed at young people as yet unvaccinated, as well as offering booster shots to the over 50s, took place in Tel Aviv operating from 8 p.m. Saturday until 4 a.m. Sunday. The new night-time vaccination drive is to be extended to 10 major cities. Read more here




Israel will reportedly expand its COVID vaccine booster programme to all Israelis 12 years and older starting next month. Read more here





Weizmann Institute of Science has announced an innovative treatment for COVID-19 which uses a molecular “super cork” to jam the entry point used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter the cell, bypassing issues that could arise with other treatments which target a spike protein on the virus. Read more here





According to Health Ministry figures, third-dose recipients appear to be 2.5 times more protected from infection than those who only received the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The added protection appears to reach its peak about a week after the third dose is given. Read more here



According to Maccabi, an Israeli HMO, a third dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 86% effective in people aged over 60, citing initial results from a study of thousands of members. Read more here



A  peer-reviewed study by doctors from Rabin Medical Centre found that  87% of cancer patients had high antibody levels four months after vaccination. That is a lower rate than among people with fully functioning immune systems, 100% of whom had good antibody levels, but represents a good response by cancer patients, according to the study.Read more here






30 Israeli tourists in a group visiting Iceland became infected with coronavirus. Three of them were so ill that their insurance company organised a rescue flight and they landed back in Israel on Wednesday. Read more here






Jordan and Israel have signed an agricultural cooperation agreement ahead of the shmita year and Israel is to import Jordanian produce.  “ Shmita” is the biblical commandment for the Land of Israel to lie fallow every seven years.Read more here






The number of British students choosing to study in Israel has increased fivefold, with 94 due to come under the Turing scheme, compared with the previous average of 18 under the EU’s Erasmus programme. Read more here






Defence Minister Gantz offered to send Israeli search-and-rescue troops to Turkey, following massive flooding in the country. Read more here






Mehadrin, Israel’s largest grower and exporter of citrus is for the first time venturing overseas to grow avocados by entering into a joint venture to grow avocados in Morocco. Read more here



Israel and Morocco have agreed to upgrade diplomatic relations with embassies opening in the next 2 months. Read more here






Israel’s IDE Technologies is to build and operate a seawater desalination plant to provide drinking water to Mumbai, India’s most populous city.(TY Michael) Read more here




Israel’s Netline Communications Technologies has announced that it will deliver 87 improvised explosive device (IED) jammers to Spain’s Defence Ministry.Read more here






Luleseged Kassa of Addis Ababa underwent life-saving heart surgery in Tel Aviv at the age of 13 under the “Save a Child’s Heart” scheme. Recently, his heart developed another defect and 20 years later he was again treated free of charge in Israel.
Read more here








Israeli doctors have removed cancer tumours from the bladder by freezing them instead of cutting them out. Doctors at the Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa say that the method has great potential to reduce bleeding, infection risk and pain. An Israeli company, Vessi Medical, developed the process to adapt cryotherapy for bladder cancer.   Read more here



Israeli startup Binah.ai  has developed technology that turns smartphones into health monitoring devices that can check vital signs including heartrate, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate.  The technology has not yet been approved for medical use,  but it can be used for health monitoring.Read more here





Richard Kemp criticises BBC coverage of Israel:  EXTRACT: The BBC’s reporting on the Gaza conflict this year typifies its long-term bias against Israel. It constantly drew moral equivalence between Israel, a Western liberal democracy, and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both proscribed terrorist organizations…. There was no acknowledgement that the conflict had been initiated by these groups that openly seek the destruction of Israel or that without their violent actions, no Palestinians in Gaza or civilians in Israel would have died. Instead the BBC maintained the fiction — pushed by the Palestinian side — that Israel’s actions in Jerusalem were the cause. Nor did they mention that Hamas misappropriated millions of dollars of international aid to construct tunnels, rockets and other engines of war to attack Israeli civilians.

This biased journalism was crowned by commentary direct from Jeremy Bowen, whose report from Gaza at the end of the conflict looked more like pro-Hamas propaganda than objective reporting. Read more here