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Israel Update 6.1.22




The “red list” of no-fly countries (which had included the UK & US) is to be cancelled, subject to approval by the Israeli Cabinet and a parliamentary panel. Israelis will be able to travel again anywhere in the world (subject to the destination country’s entry requirements) without needing special governmental permission, or to quarantine for a week upon their return, provided that they are vaccinated. Inbound travellers must still present a COVID test in order to board the flight (either PCR taken less than 72 hours prior to the hour of departure or antigen less than 24 hours before departure) and take a PCR in Israel upon landing. Those who are vaccinated will be able to leave quarantine as soon as they receive the results or after 24 hours. The decision was based on the fact that in light of the high morbidity already in Israel, maintaining the closure of the borders would not help. Read more here






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


Israel on Thursday reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.  16,115 (3,497) people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. There are currently 307 (151) people receiving treatment in hospitals.  Some 134 (94) are in serious condition. Some 41 (38) patients are connected to ventilators. More than 5,900 school pupils were among the newly confirmed cases. Read more here




Israeli authorities imposed new restrictions on gatherings last Thursday, requiring a Green Pass for outdoor cultural or religious events with 100 people or more, and making mask wearing mandatory for outdoor gatherings of 50 or more.  Read more here





A leading health expert advising the government predicted on Sunday that one out of every three or four Israelis will be infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus over the next three weeks. Read more here





Israel began distributing the first coronavirus pills to at-risk patients with COVID-19 on Sunday with the aim of preventing them from becoming seriously ill with the virus. One patient  who spoke about her case said that despite being triple-vaccinated she became infected. Read more here








Israel’s national health providers began administering 4th vaccine shots against COVID-19 last Friday to individuals with compromised immune systems. Vaccines for elderly patients at geriatric facilities were also approved. Read more here




On Sunday the Health Ministry approved the distribution of a 4th coronavirus vaccine dose to Israelis over the age of 60, and to medical workers, who have gone at least four months since receiving their booster (3rd) shot. Read more here







Preliminary findings from an Israeli study of the effects of a fourth COVID vaccine dose indicate it produces a fivefold increase in the level of antibodies. Read more here








Israel’s Health Ministry will expand a pilot project, carried out by Israeli company Kando, a wastewater intelligence and data analytics firm, to monitor municipal sewage systems for traces of the coronavirus to stay ahead of outbreaks. The project will now include over a hundred cities and towns of more than 20,000 people nationwide, where the municipal sewage systems will be monitored twice a week. Read more here








For many Arabs serving in the IDF, the decision to enlist is driven by shared concerns regarding the threats facing their home country – Israel. “When a rocket comes from Gaza or from Lebanon, it doesn’t distinguish between an Arab, a Jew, or any other,” said an Arab Israeli officer who served for nine years. He explained that in 2006 two rockets fell on an area where he lives, killing two children. He urged others in the Arab world “to come for a visit to see for themselves. I’m proud… Because I was born in this land, I was born in Israel.” Read more here

10 minute video: View here








Two rockets were fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv on Saturday. The missiles   fell into the sea. In response, IDF aircraft and artillery attacked several Hamas targets. Read more here




Hamas operatives fired two Russian-made SAM-7 shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli helicopters during retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza early Sunday. Reportedly, Israeli officials believe Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for the rocket fire. Hamas conveyed to Israel via Egyptian mediators that it was not responsible. Read more here




A Gazan gunman opened fire with a machine gun towards Israel on Monday morning, triggering alarms near an Israeli border community, amid heightened tensions along the frontier, the third attack from Gaza in the preceding week. Read more here







Recently, Israel increased the number of Gazans allowed to work in Israel under “merchant permits” to 10,000, although 90% of them are not engaged in trade. Many Gazans used to work in Israel before the Second Intifada. Reportedly, 10,000 work permits will inject $323 million into the Gazan economy.    Read more here







Last Friday a terrorist who had attempted a stabbing attack on a group of civilians and soldiers at a bus stop, was shot by IDF troops. Read more here




A Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Thursday on IDF soldiers during an operation to arrest a wanted man in Nablus. The soldiers returned fire, killed the gunman, and later captured the wanted man.Read more here






The Netherlands is stopping funding from a Palestinian NGO after an investigation found links to an EU-designated terrorist group. 34 employees of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees were shown to be active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Read more here








At the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, Intel has unveiled two Israel-made products – the Core i9 12900HK 12th generation mobile processor for laptops and the installation of Screenovate’s cross-platform communication into its Evo PCs. Read more here



The Israeli company Browzwear has established training centres for the fashion industry in Bangladesh and China, enabling employment and enhancing sustainability in the industry. Mass producing clothing is highly resource-intensive and causes nearly as much pollution as the oil industry.Read more here







The UAE-based subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems will supply aircraft security systems for the UAE Air Force under a $53 million contract. Elbit’s DIRCM systems are onboard 25 types of aircraft and protect against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Read more here








Israel’s population reached 9,450,000 as it entered 2022.
6.98 million (73.9%) were Jewish, 1.99 million (21.1%) were Arab, and 472,000 (5%) were from other sectors. Read more here









The IDF plans to create a new women-only border defence platoon later this year specifically for religious female soldiers who want to serve in a combat unit but are concerned about serving alongside men. Read more here








Scientists at Ben-Gurion University say they have demonstrated a fish’s ability to navigate on land, allowing it to drive a specially designed “Fish Operated Vehicle” around a room. Six goldfish trained to use the apparatus managed to find their way around the small room and toward a reward.       Read more here







The first phase of a major overhaul of Israel’s kosher certification industry has come into effect, paving the way to greater competition and a weaker Chief Rabbinate monopoly over the matter. Any restaurant, food store and factory can now choose from among all religious councils nationwide to provide their kashrut supervision. Read more here








The Canadian group Petition for Palestine is promoting boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against Israel using software developed by WIX, an Israeli company. Read more here







Herb Keinon: On Friday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas gave an address to mark the 57th anniversary of Fatah’s first attack on Israel. That attack came on Jan. 1, 1965, when terrorists attempted to bomb the National Water Carrier. This was 2 1/2 years before the Six-Day War, when Israel gained control of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. If current Palestinian violence is to get Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 lines, why was Fatah bombing the National Water Carrier before that? And why is that a cause for anniversary celebrations?
Abbas’ meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Gantz and Israel’s confidence-building measures had no impact whatsoever on Abbas’ rhetoric. For Abbas, the Gantz meeting served a purpose in giving the world what it wanted to see. The U.S., EU, UN and various countries praised the meeting. Abbas surely realized that a speech in which he slammed Israel a couple of days later on New Year’s Eve wouldn’t garner much international attention. But this is not going to convince mainstream Israel that he is a man who can be trusted to make peace. Read more here