Intensive consultations are underway between Israel, Egypt and the European Commission to export Eastern Mediterranean natural gas to Europe. Read more here
Israel and Egypt are also working on plans to increase bilateral annual trade to $700 million within three years.Read more here
In March, Egypt imported a record 720 million cubic feet of gas per day from Israel.
Egypt accounted for 26.5% of Israel’s gas output during the first quarter of 2022.
The significant increase is primarily the result of the coming into play of the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP), which connects Egypt with Jordan at the Red Sea and then extends to Syria and Lebanon.Israel has access to this infrastructure through a pipeline that connects its own national transmission system to the AGP in northern Jordan. Read more here
Now that the secret friendship has become official, Israel & Morocco have signed a plethora of military, business and cultural deals. Israel’s satellite channel, i24news, is opening bureaux in Casablanca and Rabat, Morocco’s commercial and political capitals. One deal involving Morocco and Marom Energy, an Israeli company, together with a Spanish consortium, to provide solar and wind power for Spain is worth $1.2bn. Israeli companies are bidding for big water projects, including a desalination plant for Casablanca.
Israeli tourists are flocking in. Morocco expects 200,000 this year, up fourfold since the accord, with ten direct flights a week. Israel Aerospace Industries is building two plants to manufacture drones and may even install a missile-defence system in Morocco.Read more here (paywall)
Liberia announced on Wednesday it will open an official trade office in Jerusalem that will serve as a precursor to a full-fledged embassy in the future. This makes the West African nation the fifth country to open a mission in the Israeli capital after the U.S, Guatemala, Kosovo, and Honduras. Read more here
“Israel is back in Africa” was the unmistakable message of a recent conference in Paris on Israel’s ties with the continent in the years ahead. The one-day event brought together French and African journalists, diplomats, entrepreneurs and artists to examine the future of Israeli cooperation with African countries and businesses. Read more here
Israel welcomed the chief of Greece’s armed forces with an honour guard on Wednesday, amid increasingly close ties between the Mediterranean nations.Read more here
On June 7, 15 tons of medical equipment and medicines were shipped from Israel through Hungary to Ukraine for the National Children’s Specialized Hospital.Read more here
The flow of international military aid to Ukraine, combined with a lack of control by Western and Ukrainian authorities, is reportedly supplying advanced weaponry for black markets around the world. There is multiple evidence of Western weapons crossing the Ukrainian border to where anyone with an interest and enough money can buy them. A video of a Syrian fighter bragging about getting advanced Western weapons from Ukraine has circulated online. This is clearly a matter of concern for Israel. Read more here
With the Russian threat looming, some Baltic states and Poland are looking to Israel for guidance and expertise in the fields of border security, emergency management and cyber defence. A delegation of Baltic & Polish officials (all from member states of NATO & the EU) visited Israel recently on a three-day trip organized by ELNET, an organization working to build ties between Israel and Europe. Read more here
Israel welcomed 400 young leaders from 34 countries to the 2022 Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), a four-day event hosted by US business magazine Forbes, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv recently to foster entrepreneurship, social impact, and environmental change worldwide. The event included several meetings for attendees to discuss ideas and innovation, with the ultimate goal of building bridges through business, technology, and understanding. One event, called “The Power of Yalla: 10 Ideas That Will Change The Middle East,” was designed to “create social and business impact between the participants and the Israeli – Arab – Palestinian Tech ecosystem,” Read more here
11 Israeli startups trying to solve the world’s traffic problems. From Parknav which helps find parking at your destination to City Transformer , a tiny electric car for one person – and a lot more inbetween. Read more here
Israel’s VeganFest, the world’s largest vegan event took place over 3 days in Tel Aviv this week.Read more here
Predicta Med uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help doctors diagnose whether a patient has Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or coeliac disease. It also diagnoses rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus with an average 84% accuracy. Read more here
Israeli health tech startups Sanolla & Naor (Rapid Diagnostics) were awarded the Breakthrough Innovation Award at the InoVEX 2022 Pitch Contest held in Taiwan this week.Read more here
With cases rising, Israel’s P.M. and Health Minister met Wednesday with health officials and agreed there would be no new virus restrictions implemented yet.
Earlier the same day, coronavirus czar Zarka said that Israel appears to be at the start of a new wave of infections, the BA.5 variant, and that a fifth dose of the vaccine may be necessary for some sectors of the population. The transmission rate reached 1.19 on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, a team advising the Health Ministry recommended on Tuesday that the public resume wearing face masks indoors, especially in gatherings.
The mandate for face coverings in medical settings will remain in place.
There will be close monitoring of infection rates, including via testing the sewage system. Read more here
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, was elected a vice-president of the UN General Assembly and will begin serving his one-year term in September when the 77th General Assembly convenes. He said “I will now be representing Israel in a position at the heart of the UN…This triumph sends a clear message to our enemies that they will not prevent us from participating in leading roles at the UN and in the international arena. Hatred must never triumph over the truth.”Read more here
(Note: 21 vice presidents are elected for each General Assembly session.)
A Commission of Inquiry set up last year by the UN Human Rights Council following the 11-day war in May 2021 between Israel and Hamas in Gaza issued its first report on Tuesday.
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said: “As we have stated repeatedly, we firmly oppose the open-ended and vaguely defined nature of the UNHCR Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, which represents a one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace. The report of the Commission, released today, does nothing to alleviate our concerns… The existence of this COI in its current form is a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel. Read more here
UK Foreign Office statement: “The UK has been clear that we oppose the open-ended nature of the Commission of Inquiry on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza and its vaguely defined mandate. The cause of advancing human rights in Israel and the…Palestinian Territories is not served by the disproportionate focus on Israel.” Read more here
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement: Extract
The report disregards years of murderous terrorism by Palestinian terrorist organizations against Israeli citizens, as well as the Palestinians’ long-standing obstinacy and the vicious and anti-Semitic incitement carried out by the Palestinian Authority and its networks. The Commission ignored the real reasons that led Israel to defend its citizens against the murderous terrorist organizations that are committing a double war crime: firing at Israeli civilians from within civilian areas in Gaza.
The Commission of Inquiry and the biased report it published are the result of the Council’s extreme anti-Israel bias. The Commission members were only appointed to their roles because of their public and well-known anti-Israel stances, in direct opposition to the rules set out by the UN.Read more here
Prof. Anne Bayefsky: EXTRACTS: The Commission of Inquiry created in 2021 by the UNHCR has issued its first report. The three commissioners appointed to conduct the inquiry were on record accusing Israel of apartheid, and urging boycotts and criminal prosecution – in advance of investigating anything…
Our submissions contained evidence of the ceaseless, unrelenting, violent attacks on Jews prior to Israel’s independence and until today. War after war, terror attack after terror attack, suicide bombing, kidnapping, torture, arson; with rockets, mortars, grenades, pipe bombs, drones, firebombs, stones, bullets, vehicles, and knives, decade after decade; with one goal: the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – the ultimate violation of human rights. Yet the report finds no Palestinian terrorism.
This UN exercise in historical revisionism seeks to invent a narrative of powerless Arab victims and criminal Jewish perpetrators, invert who violated the rights of whom, and challenge the moral imperative of the modern Jewish state. It is far more than an outrage. Read more here
Jonathan Schanzer: Hamas as Tehran’s Agent
Since the late 1980s, Iran has been plying the Hamas terrorist group with cash and weapons.
Thus Hamas has evolved into the foremost Palestinian terror organization, capable of hitting Israel’s main population centres and strategic infrastructure.
As of March 2022, reportedly Hamas received $80 million annually from Iran.
Hamas engineers are studying precision guided munition technology in Iran to learn how to target Israel more accurately in future wars. Read more here
David Harris: 55 years ago, the Six-Day War broke out. Many of its core issues remain unresolved. In June 1967, there was no state of Palestine. It didn’t exist and never had. Its creation, proposed by the UN in 1947, was rejected by the Arab world because it also meant the establishment of a Jewish state alongside.
The West Bank and eastern Jerusalem were in Jordanian hands. Violating solemn agreements, Jordan denied Jews access to their holiest places in Jerusalem. They desecrated and destroyed many of those sites. Meanwhile, Gaza was under Egyptian control, with harsh military rule imposed on local residents. And the Golan Heights, which were regularly used to shell Israeli communities far below, belonged to Syria.
The Arab world could have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza any day of the week. They didn’t. There wasn’t even discussion about it. Arab leaders, who today profess such attachment to Jerusalem, viewed it as an Arab backwater.
The 1967 boundary at the time of the war was nothing more than an armistice line dating back to 1949 – known as the Green Line. Armistice lines weren’t formal borders. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the 1967 conflict, and was created with the goal of obliterating Israel. In the weeks leading up to the Six-Day War, Egyptian and Syrian leaders repeatedly declared that their objective was to wipe Israel off the map. Read more here
Con Coughlin:Whether or not the report that Israel was allegedly behind the killing of a senior Quds force official is true is almost academic. The real crime, one that represents a serious breach of the long-standing intelligence-sharing arrangements between the U.S. and Israel, is that one of President Biden’s senior officials has been willing to betray the trust of such a close ally. Read more here