Israel scientists say they have gathered the most convincing evidence to date that increased vitamin D levels can help COVID-19 patients reduce the risk of serious illness or death. Researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Galilee Medical Centre say that the vitamin has such a strong impact on disease severity that they can predict how people would fare if infected based on nothing more than their ages and vitamin D levels. They also concluded that vitamin D deficiency significantly increases danger levels. Read more here
Figures from last week where available in brackets for comparison.
36,835 (58,422) new daily coronavirus cases were reported in Israel on Wednesday, with 1,123 (1096) patients in serious condition.
Of the 1,123 serious cases, 344 are critical, with 274 (258) intubated patients and an additional 21 connected to ECMO machines. Some 9,370 people have passed away with COVID-19 in Israel since the start of the pandemic, with 293 of those deaths occurring in the last seven days alone. As of Thursday morning, 485 serious coronavirus patients were unvaccinated (43.2%), 116 (10.3%) were partially vaccinated, and 502 (44.7%) were vaccinated. The vaccination status of the remaining less than 2% was unknown. Read more here
The number of patients hospitalized in Israel in serious condition as a result of COVID-19 had risen to 1,229 on Saturday, the highest number since the onset of the pandemic.Read more here
Israel’s new, relaxed Green Pass requirements went into effect at midnight Sunday, part of a further easing of COVID restrictions. Green Passes, showing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test are no longer required for entry to restaurants, cinemas, gyms and hotels. Green Passes are still needed for entry to indoor sites where there is a higher risk for infection such as event halls and dance clubs.Read more here
The Israeli Ambassador on Monday handed over a consignment including ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and pulse oximeters to Foreign Secretary Adm. Prof. Jayanath Colombage in Colombo. Read more here
Israeli scientists have made paralysed mice walk by giving them spinal cord implants, and say they are less than three years away from doing the same for humans in clinical trials. The world-first experiment took place at Tel Aviv University, where a large team engineered spinal cord tissue from human cells, and implanted them into 15 mice with long-term paralysis. Twelve of the mice then walked normally. The success rate with this spinal cord implant was 80% for mice with chronic paralysis, but among those with recent or short-term paralysis, 100% of mice were able to walk. Read more here
The cellular therapy from Israel’s Kadimastem was able to slow down the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in its first human clinical trial on ten patients. (TY Michael) View video here
Three armed Palestinian terrorists who had carried out at least four shooting attacks against IDF troops and civilians in the West Bank over the past two weeks were killed by Israeli security forces on Tuesday in in Nablus. Reportedly, they were members of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Read more here
The IMF reported that Israel’s “world-leading vaccination campaign boosted confidence and helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic in the face of new, virulent variants,” while the government embarked on “prompt and ample” support for households and businesses and the Bank of Israel’s “monetary and prudential measures provided liquidity, kept credit flowing, and prevented undue tightening of financial conditions. Read more here
Gali Baharav-Miara has been approved as Israel’s next attorney general, the first woman to take up this role. Read more here
Earthquake experts at the Geological Survey of Israel have unveiled cutting-edge technology (developed in the US) capable of sensing the first sign of an earthquake and having the Home Front Command send out an alert within ten seconds. The new national earthquake early warning system puts Israel on a par with a small number of other nations such as the US, Taiwan, and Japan. Israel is located on the seismically active Syrian-African Rift Valley. Read more here
In the first-ever list of its kind, six Israeli restaurants have been ranked among the top 50 best dining establishments in the Middle East and North Africa. Read more here
Loretta Kay-Feld, a British-Israeli composer living in Ra’anana has released two pieces of music that she was commissioned to create for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. She was contacted six months ago by a member of the royal family to create music for this special occasion. Read more here
Incredo Sugar from Israeli food-tech company DouxMatok is the key ingredient in Blommer Chocolate Company’s (the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America) reduced-sugar chocolate-flavoured chips. Incredo Sugar is made of real cane sugar but allows for up to 50 percent sugar reduction through a patented flavour delivery technology that enhances the perception of sweetness on the taste receptors. Read more here
Israeli start-up AgwaFarm’s flagship product, the AgwaGarden, is an all-in-one box that allows consumers to plant, nurture and harvest hydroponic vegetables and salad at home. The unit is about the size of a small wine refrigerator. Read more here
Tel Aviv ranks number #2 globally as a cleantech ecosystem, a close second after Silicon Valley and ahead of key global hubs including Stockholm, London and Los Angeles. Read more here
The world’s first fully-autonomous store recently opened in Fayetteville, Georgia, utilizing product identification technology developed by the Israeli company Shekel. Read more here
Israeli wireless “smart road” tech startup ElectReon is set to make its entry into the US market with the first deployment of its wireless charging infrastructure to power electric vehicles in Michigan. The company is to build an Electric Road System (ERS) on a public road in Detroit, the Motor City. Read more here
Israeli start-up Mine’s platform assists users in reclaiming their personal data and empowers the user to discover his or her digital footprint while also supporting them in their efforts to take it back. For example, when Easyjet and T-Mobile were the targets of cyber-attacks, several thousand former customers had avoided breaches of their privacy by using Mine to reclaim their data.Read more here
Plasan Sasa from Israel signed a contract in November to provide its advanced armour package for 348 new Spanish Army VCR Dragon combat vehicles, including Plason’s innovative, lightweight RPG protection and its unique mine protection solution for underbelly and IED side blast. Read more here
Israeli skier Barnabas Szollos finished in sixth place overall in the men’s alpine combined at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday, in Israel’s best-ever Olympic skiing finish. Read more here
Kuwait is to ban a new film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” with a cast of Hollywood stars which includes Israeli actress Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman).Read more here
Khaled Abu Toameh: International human rights organizations intentionally and systematically ignore violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
A report issued on Jan. 29 by the International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (ICSPR) found “grave violations and abuses” against Palestinians in the West Bank by the PA and its security forces in 2021.
More than 200 Palestinians were arrested by PA security forces because of their political affiliation and for expressing their views in public. Dozens of Palestinian journalists were also targeted.
“There is an official [PA] policy to undermine freedom of expression through detentions or attacks on journalists and activists,” the report stated. Read more here
Tal Schneider: In the West Bank, where homes cost a fraction of what they would in Israel, a large number of Arab citizens of Israel are buying second homes for investment properties or a dream vacation residence. Among the most popular areas are Jericho Gate, a new planned neighbourhood on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley city; Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank, just north of Ramallah; Tulkarm and Jenin, home to campuses of American University, where almost half the student body is Israeli; and Rafidia in Nablus. By one estimation, one in five Israeli Arabs has land or a home in the West Bank. Read more here