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Israel Update 16.6.22




Israel, Egypt and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday in Cairo that will see Israel export its natural gas to the E.U. for the first time. The landmark agreement will increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries, which are aiming to reduce dependence on supply from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the EU imported roughly 40% of its gas from Russia.  Read more here



Working with Israel will help reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had said during her visit to Israel.” The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us” she said as she received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University. She had arrived on Monday to discuss Europe’s sudden need to expand its defence capabilities, energy supply and food security following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The EU is seeking an intensification of its relationship with Israel as defence ties have been flourishing in recent months. Read more here Read more here



The EU on Tuesday failed to pass a proposal to withhold about 5% of its support for the Palestinian Authority because of antisemitic incitement contained in its school textbooks, after 14 months of freezing funding. Instead, the European Commission decided to pay the PA without new conditions despite the findings of an EU-commissioned study by the Georg-Eckert Institute confirming in June 2021 that Palestinian textbooks feature antisemitism, glorification of terrorism and erase Israel.Read more here






Israel has reportedly deployed radar systems in several countries in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” to counter the threat of ballistic missiles from Iran. According to an intelligence expert the radar can also detect cruise missiles and drones. Read more here







Israel has raised by 2,000, the quota of permits for Gazans to work or trade in Israel to 14,000  and has increased by 20,000, the number of work permits issued to West Bank Palestinians wishing to work inside Israel, to 120,000. Read more here Read more here






Israel has become one of the latest countries to join the Invictus Community of Nations and is now set to take part in the Invictus Games 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany. An international multi-sport event for wounded, injured or sick soldiers, serving and veterans alike, the Invictus Games was first launched in the UK in 2014. Read more here




Liberia will open a new trade office in Jerusalem, which will eventually become their first official embassy in Israel. A delegation of Liberian government ministers recently visited Israel to discuss cooperation and the opening of a Chamber of Commerce in Israel. Read more here






Groundbreaking treatment with a single vaccine dose for HIV/AIDS has been developed by an Israeli research team at Tel Aviv University.Read more here


A Spanish-Israeli research team has developed a mechanism to render blood cancer cells harmless.Read more here


Israeli company RedC Biotech is looking to alleviate blood shortages by developing universal red blood cells in a lab that can then be employed for patients without the need for a donor.  Read more here






SoLED, a UV LED-based water disinfection device designed to bring purified water to infrastructure-limited areas using a patented technology developed after years of research and testing. SoLED is a small and portable device powered by the sun and designed for rural areas with little to no electricity. It can be connected to any pipeline, filtration system, or water source. The water streams through the device and is purified by a UV light. Read more here






Almost 50% of people infected with  Covid-1 in Israel have the  new BA.5 variant, according to the head of the COVID-19 committee, Prof. Zarka who stated “With the Delta variant, the vaccine worked in 90% of cases and in Omicron 70%, in the new variant the vaccine is already less effective in resisting infection but does protect from severe illness,” adding “We encourage the public to wear masks indoors.” He also said that there are likely to be  15,000 to 20,000 new daily COVID-19 cases. The average of confirmed daily infections jumped from 2,400 a day on June 6 to 7,661 on Tuesday this week. Read more here



Those vaccinated against COVID-19 who have recovered from an Omicron infection are best protected against the BA.5 subvariant that has been spreading, according to new findings by Sheba Medical Centre. Read more here






Israeli company Electreon, whose technology is integrated into roads to enable electric vehicles to recharge their batteries as they travel, is on track to design a lane for shuttles and service vehicles at Milan’s Bergamo Airport. Read more here



Israeli startup TomGrow has developed technology that self-waters the plants and delivers all the nutrients needed for six months. With TomGrow, it’s only required to water plants a couple of times a year. Read more here






The 21st century has ushered in the fourth agricultural revolution: precision agriculture. Two Israeli companies are committed to the great challenge of feeding the world’s population in the years to come. SupPlant has developed an agricultural irrigation technology based on Artificial Intelligence while Flying Spark grows caterpillars for protein production. Read more here





Israeli researchers at the University of Haifa have unveiled a first-of-its-kind radar that can accurately detect the size and direction of insect swarms to help forewarn farmers and save crops. Prof. Nir Sapir said researchers would be able to “identify pollinating insects that are of great importance for wild plants and agriculture, as well as other insects that cause damage to agriculture, such as various species of moths.” Read more here






The first domestication of fruit trees anywhere in the world took place some 7,000 years ago in the Jordan Valley, according to a joint study by Tel Aviv University and Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Read more here






Using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, researchers in Israel have been able to uncover some of the earliest evidence for the use of fire, dating back at least 800,000 years ago. Read more here





Israel will open its airspace for international flights to pass through on the way to and from Qatar during this year’s football World Cup, after a deal was reached with Jordanian and European aviation authorities that is expected to shorten flight durations.

The development, announced by the Israel Airports Authority, came a week after the Israeli government announced a deal with FIFA   to allow Israeli soccer fans to travel to Qatar for the World Cup in November and December, despite the two nations having no formal diplomatic relations. Read more here


The Moroccan women’s basketball team hosted their Israeli counterparts for the first time on Wednesday in a quiet slice of sporting diplomacy played out in front of invited guests only. According to the Israel Basketball Federation (IBBA) website, it was the first time that Arab female players had faced an Israeli national team in their country. The Moroccans won 62-58. Read more here




Tel Aviv has been ranked 7th in an annual list of the best global tech ecosystems. First was Silicon Valley followed by London and New York City, tying for second. Boston was 4th, Beijing 5th, and Los Angeles  6th. Tel Aviv was 7th above Shanghai, Seattle and Seoul in the top 10. Read more here



Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are jointly ranked as the fourth best startup ecosystem for agricultural technology in a global survey by the research firm Startup Genome, after Silicon Valley, New York City and London.  Read more here





22 countries signed a statement on Monday condemning a report by a Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council that blamed Israel solely for the conflict with the Palestinians. In addition to the US and Israel, the statement was signed by Austria, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Eswatini, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Holland, Palau, Togo and the United Kingdom. Read more here






David Litman: Basic Lies in the UN Commission of Inquiry Report

On June 7, the new UN anti-Israel Commission of Inquiry published its first report. The report states: “Israel remains in occupation of the territory [of Gaza] by virtue of the control exercised over…land crossings at the borders.” In fact, Israel does not control all the “land crossings at the borders.” Gaza’s southern border is with Egypt and contains the Rafah crossing, over which Israel exerts no authority.
The report states that in eastern Jerusalem, “Palestinian residents are not eligible for Israeli citizenship.” In fact, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are eligible for Israeli citizenship. In 2019, 1,200 Palestinians applied for and were granted Israeli citizenship. In 1967, all Palestinian residents were given permanent residency status, with the option of acquiring Israeli citizenship if they so choose, and many have become Israeli citizens over the years.
The report states that “the entire territory [of the West Bank and Gaza], divided in the Oslo Accords into Areas A, B and C, was to be gradually handed over to the Palestinians.” This is false. Nowhere did the Oslo Accords state that the entire territory was to be handed over to the Palestinians. The issue of final borders was clearly reserved for “permanent status negotiations” to be concluded later. Read more here



Kobi Michael and Ori Wertman: Nearly three decades after its establishment, despite flickers of hope for reform, the Palestinian Authority is advancing nowhere; it offers no prospect of real change and is increasingly losing the remnants of its legitimacy.
The manifest weakness of Mahmoud Abbas’ leadership – and the PA’s failures in the field of governance – pose for Israel a poor choice between sub-optimal conflict management, the alternative of localized centres of power, or the dangerous rise to dominance of more radical elements.
The basic drivers for these failures can be found in the PA’s own conduct. The main one is the failure of the Palestinian leadership to carry out the necessary transition from a national liberation organization that was characterized by many as a terrorist organization, to a real and painstaking process of state-building. Yet the political conduct of the Palestinian leadership in the institutional, economic, and social dimensions did not significantly change from the days of exile in Tunisia. Read more here