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Israel Update 13.1.22




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


Israel’s Health Ministry reported Thursday that 48,095 (16,115) new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed the previous day – the highest such figure since the onset of the pandemic in Israel.

Hospitals are currently treating 879 (307) COVID patients, of whom 283 (134) are in serious condition, the highest it has been since mid-October, while the number of ventilated stands at 65 (41).

Despite the dramatic spike in severe cases, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday that the condition of nearly half of all new serious coronavirus patients improved within a week. Officials said, however, that it is currently too soon to say if the Omicron variant does indeed cause a shorter hospitalization period compared to previous coronavirus strains, adding that it does seem to cause fewer complications than previous strains of the pathogen. Read more here


The Omicron virus variant has raced across Israel over the past week, with 258,664 active patients. 165,550 Israelis are in quarantine. Out of 280 localities, 226 are classified as “red.” On Dec. 30, only 14 localities were classified as “red.” Read more here






This article contains a guide for entry to Israel for foreign nationals as of January 9: Read here






A group of female Israeli doctors travelled to India recently to help women with health issues as part of a special delegation organized by Israel’s Foreign Ministry to help “increase awareness of women’s health in general, especially for cancer,” The delegation spent eight days in the country, during which they examined approximately 1,000 women. Read more here






After two weeks of training in Israel in November, Sandy Springs Police Capt. Norman Vik wants to use what he learned to improve his department. Vik was part of a 16-member delegation of senior law enforcement officials from Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange’s (GILEE) 28th annual peer-to-peer executive training programme in partnership with the Israel Police. He had classes with Israel’s unexploded ordnance teams and learned that they guarantee to be on scene in 15 minutes and Vik wants to bring in similar operational readiness training. Read more here





Before Covid-19 hit, 2/3 of the world’s freight tonnage was carried on passenger flights, whose services have still not returned to normal. Meanwhile, cargo demand has soared with consumers thronging to e-commerce platforms and online shopping websites. IAI’s conversion hub in Abu Dhabi will serve the global demand to convert the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 to cargo planes. Read more here






An Israeli soldier (19) was moderately wounded Tuesday in a ramming attack near Ramallah. Paramedics treated him at the scene for an injury to his legs. He was transported by helicopter to hospital in moderate condition. Read more here



Attacks on Israeli civilian motorists have increased with at least two recent instances of huge stone blocks being hurled at cars, shattering the windscreen/window. One motorist said:  “When they say, ‘stone throwing,’ you think of a small pebble of sorts – but they’re blocks. They’re blocks that can kill.” Read more here




Five firebombs were thrown at an Israeli bus between Hebron and Gush Etzion in the West Bank last Thursday afternoon.Read more here






Economic relations between Japan and Israel reached new heights in 2021, with Japanese firms investing some $2.9 billion across 85 deals in Israeli companies last year, almost triple the amount invested in 2020.Japan now accounts for 15.8% of all foreign investments in the Israeli high-tech industry, compared to just 1.8% in 2016, and 12% of the total investment (foreign and Israeli). Read more here






TauSat-3, an Israeli satellite designed to test a new technology for protecting space systems from cosmic radiation, has safely reached the International Space Station. The COTS-Capsule, an innovative technique for detecting and mitigating cosmic-ray-induced damage, will allow the use of modern commercial, off-the-shelf electronic components to be used in space.
Read more here







Israel’s Smart Shooter has unveiled SMASH Dragon, an armed drone system incorporating company-developed SMASH Technology for precise target elimination. The Dragon can incorporate various types of assault rifles, sniper rifles, 40mm, and other ammunition with great precision. Read more here




The Hizbullah spy drone downed by the IDF on the Lebanese border last week is the fifth to be brought down within a year. In the past few years there have been almost weekly sightings of drones from Lebanon flying along the border with Israel and in some cases penetrating a few hundred metres southward. The IDF does not elaborate on how it brings down the drones.Read more here



The commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command’s, V.-Adm. Brad Cooper, was in Israel for a working visit, his third in the past 6 months, to meet senior Israeli military officers. They discussed promoting international co-operation and strengthening ties in order to protect and monitor international waters that are vital to international trade. Read more here






Israeli researchers have discovered that age-related brain atrophy can be slowed with a green Mediterranean diet, high in polyphenols, a type of micronutrient naturally occurring in plants, and low in red and processed meat. The trial was led by Prof. Iris Shai and Dr. Alon Kaplan from Ben-Gurion University, together with several international teams of brain experts. Read more here



Israeli start-up Maolac has created a nutrient-rich food supplement from bovine pre-milk colostrum. Reportedly over 5 billion litres of this colostrum is discarded annually. Maolac’s products will be marketed internationally to food manufacturers as a tasteless, odourless additive to their own foods, from yogurt, ice cream and cereals to bread, pasta and energy bars. Read more here




Israeli food giant Tnuva is setting its sights on the growing cultured meat market with its own startup that will develop lab-grown beef in partnership with biotech firm Pluristem Therapeutics, a Haifa-based cell therapy company. Read more here







To mark Tu B’Shvat (the New Year for Trees) this coming week, this article highlights nine Israeli agri-tech companies working to ensure the health and well-being of our trees. Read more here







The Israel Film Archive has made 120 years of Israeli and domestic filmmaking available online with thousands of hours’ worth of films and rare archive footage.Read more here







The best electric guitar of the year according to the experts at Guitar magazine, is the Stinger from Macmull Custom Guitars in Ma’aleh Adumim. Read more here







Israeli basketball player Mohamed Abu Arisha, 24, has signed a 1 year contract with Morocco’s AMI basketball club in Ifrane that competes in the national top-level league. He had played for Hapoel Beersheba, as well as on the Israeli national basketball team. Read more here





Israeli songwriter and poet Yoram Taharlev died last Thursday at the age of 83. Taharlev wrote more than 1,000 songs, including 100 works for the army’s musical entertainment troupes that became classics of Israeli culture. 19 minute video of a few of his songs featuring the Gevatron Choir & the Parvarim Duo. View here