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Israel Update 24.2.22




Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “severe violation of international order.” which Israel condemned. Read more here



Israeli NGOs are sending aid to refugees. SmartAID is sending supplies and setting up Wi-Fi hot spots for aid workers and refugees in Poland. United Hatzalah is sending a medical team. Read more here



Israel’s Foreign Ministry estimates that there are around 8,000 Israeli citizens still in the country, including 200 families in Uman. A number of Arab Israeli students also returned to Ukraine this week in order to take exams at their university in Kharkiv.  Read more here




How the Russian war against Ukraine could impact Israel. During a visit to Israel earlier this month, the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister said that Ukraine was the source of half of the grains imported into Israel. Furthermore, Ukraine is responsible for a large portion of construction material imports into Israel.   Read more here







The UK parliament on Tuesday approved an amendment to stop local authority pension funds from backing BDS sanctions against UK companies connected with Israel. Former Communities Minister Rob Jenrick said  “For too long we have seen public pension schemes pursue pseudo foreign policies and all too often the foreign policy of these public pension schemes is, I’m afraid, exclusively focused on re-writing the UK’s relationship with the world’s only Jewish state, Israel.” Read more here







On Feb. 16, 2022, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed that his group had managed to convert thousands of missiles in its possession into precision-guided missiles. On Feb. 20, Hizbullah said it had launched a drone that hovered over Israeli territory for 40 minutes over a distance of 70 km. before returning to Lebanon. Read more here



Head of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) Walid Jumblatt took to twitter to mock the state of affairs in Lebanon. He noted that the country fails to generate 24-hour electricity and yet Hezbollah has the technology to manufacture drones. Other officials slammed Hezbollah for launching the drone and boasting that it was now producing the aircraft in Lebanon.Read more here





Figures from last week where available in brackets for comparison.


Israel recorded 11,799 (21,152) new COVID-19  cases on Wednesday. The number of serious cases continued to fall, standing at 637 (886) as of Thursday morning. Of this number, 244 are in critical condition, with 233 (263) patients intubated. The number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Israel since the start of the pandemic has risen to 10,076 people, with 178 of them occurring within the last 7 days. The R-rate has fallen to 0.66 (0.68),  a sign of the continuing decline of the Omicron wave. Read more here



The Omicron variant, now on the wane, has caused a staggering number of infections. There were 2.2 million confirmed Omicron infections in Israel, but epidemiologist Eran Segal has estimated on Friday that the actual number of cases was far higher — around 4.5 million, close to half of Israel’s population. According to Segal, around 70% of Israelis have been infected with the coronavirus (all variants) since the start of the pandemic, around 6 to 7 million people. Read more here






Under a new plan commencing 1 March, Israel will admit unvaccinated tourists. However, the tourists must take pre- and post-flight PCR tests. Returning Israeli citizens will no longer need to show a negative Covid test before boarding flights home but will be tested on arrival. Read more here







Israelis who recovered from COVID-19 and were vaccinated with a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are far better protected against reinfection than those who only have natural immunity, a large-scale Israeli study found. However, the data were from just before the Omicron wave, when reinfections of recovered patients were relatively rare.  Read more here






Two months after December’s Typhoon Odette affected the lives of more than 10 million Filipinos, IsraAID team members were able to enter the country to bring urgent aid to communities in need. After typhoons, seawater infiltrates wells and other water sources and causes the water to become undrinkable. The Israeli Otterpack portable water purification system makes safe water from salinated water.
Read more here




Almost all E.U. aid to the PA has been held up as officials discuss reform of school textbooks following concerns about incitement in Palestinian education. Read more here





The Israel Nature and Parks Authority says hundreds of Palestinian hunters in the West Bank routinely kill wildlife including ibex and deer, porcupines, partridges, and falcons, and many rare animal species that are facing the threat of extinction. Read more here





Executive director of Amnesty International Israel Molly Malekar  said that the group’s report earlier this month that accused Israel of apartheid is not helping the situation and may even be making things worse. She criticised the report as too sweeping an indictment that ignores human rights work and wrongly depicts Arab Israelis as helpless victims. Read more here






Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi  has been appointed Israel’s consul-general to Shanghai, the first Arab woman to hold such a senior diplomatic position. Read more here



Israel’s Judicial Selection Committee has announced the appointment of four new justices to the Supreme Court, two women and two men,  including Judge Khaled Kabuv the first-ever Muslim judge to sit in the country’s highest court . Read more here






Dozens of Gazans are hoping to take advantage of an opening up of employment opportunities in Israel, leading to increased demand for Hebrew classes at Gaza’s Nafha languages centre. Read more here



A Gazan man with a permit to enter Israel for medical treatment used his access to scout for potential recruits for the Hamas terror group, according to the Shin Bet security service. Read more here






The mayor of Red Sea resort city Eilat and the governor of the adjacent Aqaba region in Jordan agreed to renew direct ties and cooperation following a rare public meeting in Israel. They agreed to re-establish joint committees that will examine increasing the quota of Jordanians who work in Israel and expanding the sectors in which they can work, as well as look into cooperation on issues of the environment and pest management. Read more here






Oxygen therapy can dramatically reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a world-first Israeli study on Israel Defense Force veterans, during which half the subjects made such good progress they were no longer deemed to have PTSD. Read more here






Danish company Lego is to open its first official store in Israel this year. Read more here





Druze athlete Karawan Halabi made history last week when she completed a 1,000-meter race in 2:43:99 minutes, becoming the first Druze athlete to break an Israeli record. Read more here