(Figures from last week’s Update in brackets for comparison)
Israel’s Health Ministry reported Tuesday evening that the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in serious condition dropped under 500 for the first time since August 13. Unvaccinated patients account for over 76% of all severe cases while patients who have received a vaccine booster shot account for less than 7%. Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, the death toll was 7,853 (7,734). Read more here
2,369 (3,550) new cases were registered on Wednesday. There were 475 (639) patients in serious condition while two weeks earlier there were 731. Read more here
As the number of serious coronavirus patients and hospitalizations in Israel has continued to drop several hospitals have begun to close their corona wards. Read more here
Israel’s trailblazing move to offer third vaccine doses to its population will ultimately prove justified and eventually be adopted by the US, US chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has predicted. He said that the US is receiving information from Israel on the booster shot campaign, and that here is particular interest in data on young people, especially those in the army. Read more here
Israel has started a pilot to use an innovative saliva-based PCR test to check coronavirus infections. The results take about 45 minutes compared with several hours for standard PCR tests. Read more here
The known side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are significantly milder from the booster shot compared to the first two doses, according to new data presented by Israel’s Health Ministry. Read more here
In a large-scale study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Israeli researchers collected data from two and a half million vaccinated Israelis, which shows that the risk of myocarditis after receiving a Pfizer-developed vaccination is extremely rare and does not cause significant muscle damage in the short and medium-term. Read more here
New research from Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates the waning of COVID-19 antibodies in the months following two vaccine doses. Researchers reported a significant drop over the first three months, followed by a more moderate decline over the next three months. Women generally developed a better initial antibody count than men. Read more here
According to Health Ministry data for the last seven days of September, after boosters, elderly Israelis who are fully inoculated have just one fiftieth of the chance of COVID death compared to unvaccinated people in the same age bracket. The statistics indicate that the shift from a two-shot to a three-shot regime has saved many lives. Read more here
Israeli Ambassador Ran Yaakoby has met New Zealand’sMinister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.
who noted positive reports received on Israel’s support of the Maori economy. They also discussed Israel’s recent assistance to Samoa and Tonga by donating clean technology systems, as well as the additional ways that Israel and New Zealand can work together in combating climate change. Read more here
EgyptAir began flying between Israel and Cairo on Sunday for the first time since the 1980s. EgyptAir will operate four weekly direct flights. Previously, the only flights between Israel and Cairo were operated by Air Sinai, a subsidiary of EgyptAir, which operated the flights in unmarked planes without the Egyptian flag. Read more here
Estonia has signed a contract with Proteus Advanced Systems for the purchase of Blue Spear 5G coastal shore-to-ship defence rockets. Proteus is a joint company of Israel Aerospace Industries and Singapore’s ST Engineering Land Systems. Read more here
The helmet worn by an F-35 stealth fighter pilot is manufactured by Israel’s Elbit Systems. Each helmet is tailored to each individual pilot and includes a 3D scan of the head and the distance between the pilot’s eyes. The helmet directs the armament to its target by a simple movement of the pilot’s head, enabling rapid response and reduction of the pilot’s workload. The F-35’s wings are produced with the utmost precision by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which to date has manufactured 270 pairs of wings. Read more here
In a breakthrough that could boost the effectiveness of treatments against one of the most common and deadliest types of brain cancer, researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that some immune cells that fight the cancer later “switch sides” to help protect the tumour. They found that the “turncoat” white blood cells — neutrophils, known for their power in killing bacteria and fungi — battle hard against glioblastoma but then change their behaviour and end up aiding its growth. Read more here
Artificial sweeteners cause a “breakdown in communication” among gut bacteria, changing the microbiome and potentially increasing the risk of disease, according to Israeli scientists in a peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Read more here
Researchers from Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Centre discovered a built-in difference between the heat-sensing systems of the sexes. Which could help to explain why women often feel colder than men. Read more here
Israeli computer vision startup Trigo Vision is launching a new pilot in the Netherlands to demonstrate the company’s grab-and-go, checkout-free shopping technology with German-owned supermarket chain Aldi. Trigo’s technology will power a 400-square-meter Aldi Nord grocery store in Utrecht. Read more here
Israeli start-up IntellAct uses artificial intelligence to help trains, boats and planes to run on time and thus save billions for airlines, seaports and transportation hubs.Read more here
Google is testing artificial intelligence technology in Israel to optimize the efficiency of traffic lights. According to its early research, the solution led to a 10-20% reduction in fuel consumption and delay time at intersections. Read more here
Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter finished fifth among the women who ran the London Marathon on Sunday. Her time of 2:18:54, was just over a second after the winner. Read more here
David Suissa: I was thinking about (US) Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s accusation last week that Israel is an “apartheid” state while at a cafe in Mamilla mall in Jerusalem. Next to my table sat a young Muslim woman wearing hip jeans and an elegant head scarf, ordering lunch and working on her laptop. You can read a thousand tweets and media commentaries, but when you actually walk the streets, “apartheid” is probably the last word you’d want to use to describe this place.
As Arab-Israeli Yoseph Haddad recently asked: Is Samer Haj Yehia, the chairman of Israel’s largest bank, Leumi, living under an apartheid regime? And what of Dr. Masad Barhoum, director general of Galilee Medical Center, or George Karra, the Supreme Court justice? And what of the Arab doctors, lawyers and police officers, the Arab members of Knesset and the ministers? Are they living in an apartheid state too?
The prosaic reality of Arab-Jewish relations is driven by answers to simple questions, such as: Am I allowed to have a coffee here, to get a university degree there, to hang out at this park, to get a job in this hotel, to vote for this candidate, to take my kids to this hospital? The answers are the sharpest rebuttal to the apartheid charge.
Many Arab citizens are still bitter about Israel’s very existence. But for the first time in Israel’s history, an Arab-Muslim party is part of its governing coalition. This is a hopeful sign that pragmatic needs in the Arab sector are superseding the ideological toxins that feed passions but leave stomachs empty. That would be in keeping with the new spirit of the Abraham Accords, which are reshaping Israel-Arab relations around mutual interests. Read more here
Emily Schrader: anti-Israel interests have made a concerted effort to dump Palestine on to any and every cause they possibly can, inserting the issue in debates that have absolutely no association whatsoever with Israel and the Palestinians or even the Middle East. These efforts polarize important discussions that should be taking place in society, be they racial inequalities, feminism, or voting rights.
For the vice president of the United States to fall into the trap of labelling outright lies as “your truth” sets a terrible example for the rest of society from a leader who absolutely knows better. Read more here