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Israel Update 30.12.21

Best wishes for 2022 to all my readers.. HRG





Iran fired multiple ballistic missiles last Friday at the close of five days of military drills that Iranian generals said were a warning to Israel and which included a mock strike on Israel’s nuclear facility.Read more here







Israel’s Defence Minister Gantz announced on Wednesday that Israel would implement a series of measures intended to prop up the deeply in debt P.A. and ease Palestinians’ daily life. The announcement followed a meeting between P.A. President Abbas and Gantz at the latter’s home,  on Tuesday night. The meeting was the first working session between Abbas and a senior Israeli official inside Israel in over a decade. Read more here






The Israeli government has approved a $300 million plan to develop the Golan Heights including the creation of two new towns. The U.S. recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan in 2019. There are currently 53,000 people living in the Golan: 27,000 Jews in 4 towns, 18 moshavim and 10 kibbutzim; 24,000 Druze in four communities; and 2,000 Alawites in the village of Ghajar. Read more here







Two Israeli buses were attacked by stone throwers in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday and Wednesday. Israeli bus driver Abed al-Aziz Sonokrot, who was attacked on Tuesday, was hit by glass and said “A similar incident happened to me last week.” On Wednesday in the same area, another bus driver said that one of a group of young Arabs  hurled “a very large rock” at the bus and “shattered my entire forward windshield.” More than 60 stone-throwing and terrorist incidents were recorded in the last 6 weeks in the area, with seven people injured. Read more here






An Israeli civilian carrying out maintenance work on the perimeter fence along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip was shot and lightly wounded on Wednesday. The IDF retaliated with artillery fire on several Hamas outposts.Read more here



Israel is undertaking a series of steps to ease the deteriorating economy in Gaza without co-ordination with Hamas. The amount of cross-border traffic has been increased and thousands of Gazan labourers have been issued permits to work in Israel. Escalation against Israel by Hamas would freeze these measures. Read more here





Last week’s figures where available in brackets for comparison.


Israel’s Health Ministry reported that 3,947 (1,400) people tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, the highest single-day tally recorded in the past three months. The virus’ reproduction number (R) stood at 1.62, (1.34) indicating that the spread of the outbreak is accelerating. Israeli hospitals are currently treating 151 (124) patients of whom 94 (83) are in serious condition, with 38 connected to ventilators. 78.7% (84%) of the severely ill are unvaccinated. Read more here



Israel has documented its first case of the so-called “flurona” — a simultaneous coronavirus and influenza virus infection.Read more here



Under new guidelines, anyone who is fully vaccinated and exposed to a positive COVID patient will have to remain in quarantine only until they test negative via PCR. Once released, they will not be allowed to enter mass events or places with high-risk populations, like nursing homes, for the following 10 days. Those who are not vaccinated, meanwhile, will be required to complete seven days of quarantine with two negative tests if they are exposed to a positive COVID patient. Read more here



Dual citizens who work abroad or have first- or second-degree relatives outside the country should be able to get an exception to travel even if the country of destination is red and on Israel’s  no-fly listafter a final vote Wednesday by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.Read more here




Israel sharply cut the number of “red” countries on its no-fly list from 69 to 15, but key destinations like the US, Canada and the UK remain prohibited. The changes went into effect at midnight Tuesday.Read more here







Israel has finalized an agreement to purchase about 100,000 of Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pills and is set to receive the first shipment. Read more here







The Health Ministry has reportedly decided that Israel will not begin offering fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as had been planned for Israelis over 60 and others at risk. The ministry’s director-general has yet to approve the campaign and has been examining  UK data indicating the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes less severe illness than the Delta strain. Read more here







The OraVax vaccine, produced by Israel’s Oramed Pharmaceuticals, will undergo clinical trials in Vietnam. It is already undergoing first phase clinical trials in South Africa.Read more here




Oravax Medical has signed a co-operation and purchase agreement with a Vietnam-based company to prepurchase 10 million doses of Oravax’s oral COVID-19 vaccine which is currently in development. The agreement grants the right to sell the vaccine in development throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The Oravax vaccine targets three structural proteins of the novel coronavirus, as opposed to the single spike protein targeted by the current Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and reportedly “this vaccine should be much more resistant to COVID-19 variants.” Read more here







The Sheba Medical Centre on Monday began a study on the efficacy of administering a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine. 6,000 individuals will be given a fourth shot. Results are expected in about two weeks. The trial began with 150 medical personnel who received a booster dose in August and who when tested were found to have low antibody levels. Read more here







Israel’s leading coronavirus testing company, AID Genomics, has signed a deal to set up a system of laboratories for detecting and genetic sequencing of the virus in Africa. The company’s CEO Snir Zano said governments from countries around the world, including Africa, have been approaching the company over the past two years to ask for assistance. Read more here







Aura Air, an Israeli company that develops air purification solutions, won, on Sunday, the 2021 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award by independent research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, recognizing the company’s excellence in the global indoor air quality monitoring industry. Aura Air says that its purification systems detect, capture and kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, germs and allergens through a unique 4-stage purification process. Read more here



NanoPass Technologies, an Israeli company that develops solutions for painless delivery of vaccines and drugs, has teamed up with Micro2Nano in South Korea to develop and produce the company’s innovative products. NanoPass’s microneedle device is based on MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology and is made of pure silicon crystal. Read more here







Israel’s economy grew by 7%  in 2021, higher than the global average of 5.9%, according to a study by Dunn and Bradstreet.  Read more here







A new camouflage material, Kit 300, developed by Israeli defence contractor Polaris Solutions, is a “thermal visual concealment” sheet that blocks a soldier’s body heat, rendering them invisible to night-vision sensors. A Kit 300 sheet weighs around one pound and compresses into a small roll. It’s strong enough to carry injured soldiers and is waterproof.Read more here






SavorEat, the Israeli foodtech company which has been developing a plant-based burger, finally revealed its flagship product on Tuesday at burger restaurant chain BBB in Herzliya.Read more here






President Herzog hosted a traditional New Year’s reception for the heads of the Christian churches in the Holy Land, alongside Israeli Interior Minister Shaked.  The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem said that the church leaders are “particularly appreciative of your steadfast commitment to the integrity of the multicultural, multi-ethnic and multireligious nature of our region and your defence of the rights of all those who call the Holy Land our home.” Adding that the leaders are “grateful for the declared commitment of the Israeli government to uphold a safe and secure home for Christians in the Holy Land.” Read more here




The Jerusalem Municipality once again distributed free Christmas trees to Jerusalem residents celebrating Christmas. Read more here







The vast majority of the 5,000 Circassians in Israel live in  two Galilee villages. When the Russian Empire conquered the Caucasus in the 1860s, a million Circassians found refuge in the Ottoman Empire, including in the Land of Israel. In the 1948 war, the Circassians, who are Sunni Muslims, chose to fight alongside the Jews, and ever since they have fulfilled their compulsory service in the IDF. Most Circassians prefer to marry among themselves but have integrated into Israeli society and work in all sectors of the economy. Bibars Natkho, the captain of Israel’s national soccer team, is a Circassian from Kfar Kama. Read more here








When Israeli kiteboarder Gal Zukerman won gold at the Youth Sailing World Championships recently, her national anthem, “Hatikvah,” did not play, and the Israeli flag was nowhere to be seen, as the event organisers in Oman hushed up her victory. Read more here







Uri Geller’s new museum in Jaffa: Read more here







David Suissa: While tens of millions of poor souls are dying and starving under brutal regimes in Yemen,Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Congo and Somalia, among others, the UN decided last Thursday that only one country merits an open-ended investigation – Israel. What did the world’s only Jewish state do this time? Last May, Israel decided it didn’t want to see thousands of its citizens – Jews and non-Jews alike – perish at the hands of Hamas terror rockets. Israel’s defence of its people triggered the UN’s Human Rights Council, which voted to investigate Israel for possible “war crimes.” The way the UN treats Israel significantly worse than the most murderous and evil regimes on earth is itself a crime. Read more here