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Israel Update 10.3.22



Turkish President Erdogan said Wednesday he believed that Israeli President Herzog’s “historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel”. Read more here


Israeli President Herzog arrived in Ankara at the start of an official visit on Wednesday, the first Israeli leader to visit Turkey in 14 years. He was greeted by Turkish President Erdogan and a military honour guard, while a band played the Israeli anthem. Herzog told Israeli reporters before the visit, “We shall try to restart our relations and build them in a measured and cautious manner, and with mutual respect between our states…Turkey and Israel were once close allies, but the relationship frayed under Erdogan.Read more here


(See Comment piece below)






Israeli Prime Minister Bennett flew to Moscow on Saturday, where he met Russian President Putin for 3 hours. The trip was made “in coordination and with the blessing” of the Biden administration as well as with Kyiv. Bennett spoke to Ukrainian President Zelensky after the meeting, then flew to Germany to meet Chancellor Scholz. The need for a ceasefire is said to have been the primary topic of discussion in Moscow.Read more here



Bennett reportedly came away from his meeting with Putin with the impression that the Russian president was in a rational state of mind, contradicting Western assessments that he may have become unhinged. Read more here



Ukrainian President Zelensky said Tuesday that he’d spoken to Bennett and thanked him for his mediation efforts. US Secretary of State Blinken also thanked Israel for its efforts to end Russia’s war with Ukraine. British ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan praised Bennett saying: “We appreciate the Prime Minister’s efforts to explore what scope there is for ending this conflict with Russia. Israel has probably the best relationship with both countries of any democracy,”. Read more hereRead more here Read more here



P.M. Bennett said Israel had a moral obligation to work to broker peace talks between Russia and Ukraine — even if the likelihood for progress was slim. Read more here







Israeli Interior Minister Shaked announced Tuesday that the State of Israel will host 25,000 citizens of Ukraine until the danger subsides. This will include temporary protection from repatriation for 20,000 Ukrainian citizens who were present in Israel before the outbreak of fighting, most of them without any legal status. In addition, Israel will grant entry for 5,000 additional Ukrainian citizens who have fled the fighting.
Israel is also expected to absorb in the near future around 100,000 Ukrainians who are fleeing the fighting, within the framework of the Law of Return. Ukrainians fleeing the war, both those who have a Jewish background and their family, will be able to come to Israel and receive full citizenship. Therefore, Israel is expected to be one of the world’s leading countries of destination and refuge for Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war, both in absolute numbers and taking into account Israel’s small size. Read more here



Israel’s Education Ministry said it was preparing to absorb as many as 2,000 Ukrainian schoolchildren into the education system over the coming days. Read more here



Ten chronically ill Ukrainian children who were hospitalized in the National Children’s Specialized Hospital in Kyiv landed in Israel on Tuesday so they can continue receiving medical treatment, part of a larger effort to rescue children facing chronic diseases from the warzone and resettle them in Israeli hospitals. At the Ukraine-Romania border a team from Israel’s Schneider Children’s Medical Centre, carried out initial clinical evaluations of the young patients before they boarded a plane to Israel along with their parents. Read more here




Three Ukrainian civilians injured in a Russian missile attack on their home near Kyiv arrived on Monday in Israel and were admitted to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital’s trauma unit. MK Yossi Shain, whose initiative it was to bring wounded from the war in Ukraine to Israel, said: “The State of Israel is making a commitment to the civilians affected by the war in Ukraine, Jews and non-Jews. Read more here



A group of 90 Jewish orphans aged 2-12, who fled Ukraine after Russia invaded, arrived in Israel on Sunday, part of 300 Jews on a rescue flight. They were met
by P.M. Bennett and other cabinet ministers. Read more here



The Mayor of Israel’s northern town Nof Hagalil posted an invitation on Facebook, welcoming Ukrainian refugees. New arrivals are being housed in hotels and vacant apartments.Read more here



Photo Essay: A view of the final moments in Moldova and Poland of hundreds of new Ukrainian immigrants to Israel escaping their war-torn country for a new life. Read more here






The Israel Foreign Ministry announced the transfer of six giant electric generators to a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine. Israeli Foreign Ministry staff stationed at Ukraine border crossings will provide assistance to both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees. Israel will also establish and staff a field hospital in Ukraine. Read more here




Foreign Minister Lapid instructed the ministry and MASHAV, Israel’s development and aid agency, to focus on four main areas of humanitarian aid. One is a refugee aid centre that will serve all Ukrainians escaping the war in their country, Jewish or not, with an emphasis on providing them with winter gear.Read more here




Dr Dorit Nitzan heads a delegation of physicians, nurses and social workers which has taken over a shopping mall in Poland where it has established a clinic serving 3,000 refugees, just one of the dozens of humanitarian efforts being carried out by Israel in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. Read more here



Israel is reportedly the only country in the world with representatives at all the major border crossings out of Ukraine to the west. As well as helping citizens stuck at the borders, officials also organize “rescue buses” to spirit Israelis and their relatives out of Ukrainian cities. Read more here







For several weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israeli tech companies offered emergency plans  offering relocation packages and various forms of financial support. Many companies including Wix, Totango, Guesty, BigID, Bizzabo, and Verbit, managed to relocate at least some of their Ukrainian employees. Wix’s leadership convenes three times a day to check in with Ukrainian employees and discuss assistance strategies and plans for those who cannot or will not leave and has been coordinating aid such as food, water and other necessities, and arranging transportation and accommodation for its workers in Ukraine.Read more here






Israeli universities are coming to the aid of their Ukrainian students and those affected by the turbulent situation, providing them with emotional support, financial aid and scholarships and accommodation in Israel.Read more here





Senior sources at Israel’s Energy Ministry confirmed that the European Energy Commissioner has asked Israel whether it could supply liquified natural gas to help the continent wean itself off Russian supplies. Read more here







Dozens of Israelis of Ukrainian origin are leaving behind families, work, and safety to take up arms against the Russian invasion. Together with Ukrainian foreign workers in Israel who dropped their contracts and left to fight, they cross the Polish border and head to the frontline, willing to risk death for the freedom of Ukraine.Read more here



Most of those showing up are IDF veterans. But not all are Ukrainian Israelis. One is a 72-year-old Druze man, a retired IDF captain who drove hours from his village in northern Israel to sign up. Another is a former U.S. paratrooper from Atlanta, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.Read more here





Finland is looking to purchase air defence systems from Israel. The decision to increase its air defence capabilities reportedly comes as a direct response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Read more here


The Mozambican army reported that it has intercepted and neutralized 3 ISIS drone squads in the north of the country using tactical systems provided by Israel’s MCTECH RF Technologies. Read more here






Hannah, an eight-year-old girl from Myanmar was successfully brought to Israel and underwent a life-saving heart operation this week through the Save a Child’s Heart organization. Read more here







The IDF’s F-35 jets intercepted 2 Iranian drones ferrying arms to Gaza last year. Read more here



Israel has thwarted the smuggling of 7,000 9mm bullets destined for Gaza. Customs inspectors found the bullets hidden inside rolls of insulation material, stored inside a container with household products. Read more here







Under the Red Sea, a high-speed data cable is being laid that will connect, for the first time, Israel to Saudi Arabia. The new link, part of two longer submarine cables running all the way from France to India, promises not only to improve the speed and lower the cost at which information can whizz between Europe and Asia. It is also knitting together a new regional alliance between Israel and countries in the Gulf that once regarded it as an enemy. Read more here





In new peer-reviewed research published Tuesday, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that they have identified a previously unknown aging mechanism in human eggs, and say they can reverse it by administering anti-viral drugs to the egg in a test tube. The breakthrough, which has yet to be tested against fertilization, could provide hope for those above 40 years old, whose aged eggs often make miscarriages and congenital defects more common. Read more here


Babies have a 25% higher chance of low birth weight if they are born in areas with high air pollution, an Israeli study has found. The peer reviewed research, based on over 381,000 births over 11 years, gives a rare glimpse into the effects of pollution on foetuses, and may well be a barometer of other health impacts.    Read more here





Philissa Cramer: Israel’s former P.M. the late Golda Meir, born in Kyiv, has become an icon among Ukrainian leaders, eager to claim her as a native daughter.

(Although ironically, Meir frequently recounted the memory of watching her father batten down their home in Kyiv in preparation for a pogrom.) Read more here



Ian Austin (Lord Austin): Britain’s Trade Union Congress emailed Labour MPs to announce its opposition to new trade deals between Britain and countries they say are “systematically abusing human rights.” Of course it wasn’t about Putin’s brutal regime in Russia, China’s crimes against the Uighurs or Iranian repression. It was about Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and the only country in the region with a history of independent and vibrant trade unions. What on earth is the organization that is supposed to promote the interests of British workers doing opposing a trade deal that would create thousands of good, well-paid jobs for British, Israeli and Palestinian working people?
Trade with Israel is already worth billions to Britain…One in seven drugs dispensed by the NHS comes from Israel. Israeli IT and computer software are used by businesses and households across the country.
Instead of promoting trade and investment to create jobs, bringing people together and creating the foundations on which a peace process can be built, many seem to single out Israel and hold it to standards never applied to countries with truly appalling records on human rights. Too many are obsessed with this tiny country and willing to believe any half-truths, distortions and downright lies about the world’s only Jewish state. Read more here



Herb Keinon: Turkey continues to host Hamas leaders, and it has been widely reported that past attacks in Israel have been planned on Turkish soil… Erdogan has engaged in strident anti-Israel rhetoric over the last 15 years that often crossed the line into anti-Semitism… Make no mistake, Erdogan has not had a change of heart…
It’s not that Erdogan wants Israel, it’s that he needs Israel. Last autumn, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince pledged $10 billion in investments, along with a $5 billion currency swap to bolster Turkey’s floundering foreign currency. With this, the UAE bought a move by Turkish foreign policy toward the Abraham Accords, which means toward Israel. Secondly, Turkey wants Israeli natural gas for its own domestic needs and for export to Europe. Finally, Erdogan hopes that… improved relations with Israel, will convince the U.S. and the West that he is sincere about wanting to return to the fold.
But Israel needs to make it clear to Erdogan that it has expectations and demands of its own. It wants Erdogan to stop his strident anti-Israel posturing, stop financially backing those agitating on the Temple Mount, stop blocking Israeli cooperation with NATO, and stop trying to torpedo Israel’s burgeoning ties with other countries in the Muslim world. First and foremost, Israel wants Turkey to kick Hamas out of the country, instead of it playing host to an organization hell-bent on killing Israelis. Read more here