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Israel Update 3.3.22



Israel sent 3 flights with 100-tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine within 24 hours on Monday/Tuesday.  The aid included 17 tons of medical equipment and medicine, water purification systems intended to supply 200,000 people, emergency water supply kits to supply 100,000 people, winter tents to house 3,000, 15,000 blankets, 3,000 sleeping bags, and 2,700 winter coats.  Read more here



Israel is preparing to set up a field hospital to help wounded Ukrainians in accordance with a specific request from Kyiv. The field hospital will be staffed with civilians and managed entirely by Israel’s Health Ministry.  Read more here







150 Arab students who had been studying in Ukraine are reported to have been evacuated with the help of the Deputy Israeli Consul in Istanbul, Yara Shibli, who is an Arabic-speaking Bedouin. A student from Gaza is among the hundreds of Arabs from several countries that Israel has helped to flee.

A further 100 Arab–Israelis who had been studying medicine in Kharkiv were helped out of Ukraine and across the Moldovan border by the former Israeli ambassador to Ukraine.

Israel is one of the only countries to have sent consular support to the border to help its nationals get through. Read more here



Israeli diplomats have been assisting Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian citizens to evacuate from Ukraine, transporting them alongside Israelis. Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky said there were no conditions on Israeli aid to residents of Arab states.Read more here



An Israeli medical team on Ukraine’s border with Moldova said tens of thousands of refugees are crossing over in need of medical and psychological support after harrowing journeys to safety. The United Hatzalah medics started treating people on Monday and were the first foreign medical team to reach the Moldovan border. Read more here



In an office near Tel Aviv, a doctor checks the lungs of a Ukrainian refugee in Chisinau, Moldova, 2,000 kilometres away, part of a new “virtual hospital” that has Israeli medical staff caring for people injured or displaced. The medical professionals  at Sheba Medical Centre are seeing patients using a range of tech solutions, many of them Israeli-built. Read more here



Hundreds of Ukrainian Jews fleeing the war will land in Israel on Sunday, on three separate flights, leaving from Poland, Moldova and Romania. Read more here






Netanya-based start-up TytoCare offers remote examination kits and an all-in-one telehealth AI platform that virtually links patients and healthcare professionals. A little over six months before the Russian invasion, UNICEF delivered 50 TytoCare telehealth devices to 10 areas in Eastern Ukraine in order to make it easier for children living in areas with difficult access to health care to receive proper, high-quality health services.Read more here



Three Israeli health-tech companies — focusing on mental health, special education for children, and digital medical services — have joined forces to offer remote medical and emotional assistance for Ukrainian families in need of emotional support and medical help during the current conflict. The services are all being offered free of charge. Read more here



As warnings of an imminent Russian invasion increased, Israeli tech companies thought of their Ukrainian workers and began offering relocation possibilities, emergency plans, and financial support. Many Israeli firms, like Israeli web development platform Wix, intel marketing firm Natural Intelligence, mobile marketing firm AppsFlyer, and data privacy and protection firm BigID helped to evacuate employees, paid for temporary relocation, and offered emergency grants for those who chose to stay in Ukraine. Read more here






The United States thanked Israel for helping it secure votes to ensure significant passage of a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. Read more here




During a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett on Friday morning, Ukraine’s President Zelensky asked that Jerusalem serve as a mediator with Russia to help resolve the military conflict between the countries. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said “We do believe that Israel is the only democratic state in the world that has great relations with both Ukraine and Russia.”   Read more here




P.M. Bennett proposed that Israel serve as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine during a phone call with Putin on Sunday, according to a readout released by the Kremlin, which did not say how the latter responded to Jerusalem’s offer. Read more here



P.M. Bennett spoke with both Ukrainian President Zelensky and Russian President Putin within a few hours of each other on Wednesday, his second set of public phone calls with the two leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine last week. Read more here



Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s HaBima Square and Rothschild Boulevard Saturday to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read more here








Russia sees its military coordination with Israel over Syria continuing, the Russian embassy in Israel has said. But after Israel condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine last Thursday as “a serious violation of international order,” Russia’s UN mission restated opposition to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.Read more here



Israel assigns decisive importance to the freedom of action that the Russians give to Israel in Syria. The Russian army maintains advanced air defence systems in Syria that could seriously disturb Israeli planes attacking Iranian targets and Hizbullah bases and arms dumps in the country. In the economic realm, half of Israel’s imported wheat comes from Russia (another 30% comes from Ukraine). Russia is a very big export destination for Israeli agricultural produce, while Israeli technology companies are cooperating with Russian companies and investors. All this will be put in danger when Israel has to join Western sanctions against Russia.Read more here






After over 2 years, government ministers agreed to end the COVID-19 state of emergency. Starting on March 1st, any new restrictions proposed by the government must be approved by the Knesset (Parliament) or the Law & Justice Committee.Read more here



As the Omicron wave ebbs, Israel has dropped nearly all COVID health rules. Only 3 restrictions remain: face masks in indoor public spaces, Green Pass to entre old age homes and PCR tests upon arrival for Israelis (and all other travellers) returning from abroad. The number of seriously ill patients has more than halved since February 6, from 1,242 to 582, the lowest it has been since January 19.Read more here






Israeli Defence Minister Gantz said, “We intend to expand [our] civilian humanitarian policy, including an immediate increase in the quota of [Palestinian] workers [who can enter Israel].” In October, Israel expanded the work permit programme to allow up to 10,000 workers into the country. Read more here



Exports of agricultural produce from Gaza to Israel jumped by 142% in the first two months of 2022, the Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories reported. Read more here




A new Israeli stem cell therapy, NG-01, intended to make the brain of multiple sclerosis sufferers “repair itself,” has shown promise in a small clinical trial, with several patients experiencing hopeful biological changes and reduced disability. Read more here




Researchers from the Rabin Medical Centre and the Weizmann Institute of Science say they may be able to cut the risk of heart attack by rebalancing gut bacteria, using capsules containing germs collected from excrement.Read more here



A Tel Aviv University study uses new technology to genetically modify bioprosthetic heart valves (BHVs) made of animal tissue to stop them from producing sugars foreign to humans. This significantly reduced the process that caused the BHVs to degenerate, and could increase their durability. Read more here






Israel’s first-ever winter Paralympian, Sheina Vaspi, will compete in alpine skiing in the Beijing games Vaspi, 20, lost her left leg in a traffic accident when she was a toddler. She glides down the slopes on a single ski, using two short blades at the bottom of her ski poles for balance and steering. She competes in several events and can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour. Read more here







Shira Rubin: On the ground, Israel stands with Ukraine. Israeli medics are offering services to refugees across the Ukrainian border, Israeli phone companies are providing free credits to Ukrainian citizens to get in touch with their family, and Israeli tech companies are assisting with evacuating Ukrainian employees. On Saturday night, thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv calling for the end to the Russian assault, as City Hall was lit with the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag. “The heart of the Israelis is with Ukraine, no question,” said a former Israeli national security adviser. But “we need freedom to act in Syria, to contain the Iranians. We cannot ignore the fact that they [the Russians] are there.” Read more here



Andrew N. Koss: Putin supports Israel’s enemies with diplomatic cover, weapons, and boots on the ground. His soldiers fight side-by-side with Hizbullah and Iran’s Quds Force. Moscow’s relationship with Hamas is a cozy one. And Putin’s overarching goal is to upend the American-led international order and hurt the U.S. wherever he can. At the same time, Russia, an ex-superpower with a vast military machine, has a sizable military presence on Israel’s northern border, where it controls the airspace. It could give Israel’s adversaries even more dangerous weapons. So Israel’s leaders are being careful. They must mind what they do, as well as what they say. Read more here



David Horovitz: Putin’s pursuit of his expansionist goals in Ukraine, in open defiance of American warnings and threats, resonates deeply in Israel. It is a reminder – one that Israel did not need – to take with the utmost seriousness threats issued by rapacious adversaries, first and foremost Iran. And it is disturbing confirmation that America’s hegemony is no longer assured.  The U.S. has been Israel’s key ally for decades, and remains so. But crucial to that alliance for Israel has been the knowledge that America provided stability for little Israel, helping to deter regional aggressors. That deterrence is fading. Read more here



Natan Sharansky interview in The Times of Israel:  Sharansky, who was born in what is now Donetsk, Ukraine, called Putin’s attack a challenge to “all the basic principles of the free world.” He said:  “It’s not cowardice for Israel to seek to avoid irritating Putin. We are in a situation where, because of the weakness of the West, Putin holds the keys to the skies in our area. To protect ourselves from Iran, from the military bases Iran would establish [directly across Israel’s borders], we need good ties with Russia.” Putin “is seeking to change the entire post-World War II order in which your stronger neighbour cannot take away your freedom. To challenge the entire free world. He believes that he is the only one in the world ready to use force, and that he will restore historic Russian dominance.” The only thing that can stop him “is the absolute solidarity of the free world.” “There are genuine considerations of realpolitik. Israel has very serious arguments about why it needs to be careful. I hope it takes a clear position in spite of that.” Read more here



Dore Gold: The crisis over Ukraine in 2022 has illustrated just how important the diversification of the sources of European gas has become and the urgency of finding alternatives to Russian gas, if only to reduce Moscow’s leverage over Europe and the NATO alliance. The new Israeli government has halted the granting of licenses for natural gas exploration for one year while the Energy Ministry devotes its efforts to renewable energy. In the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, there are multiple reasons why work on the East Med pipeline must be resumed as soon as possible, along with gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Read more here