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Israel Update 23.6.22



The Knesset on Wednesday voted to dissolve itself in a preliminary reading vote, effectively triggering a fifth snap election in three years.

The bill will probably now be moved to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to be prepared for a second and third reading, which is expected to take place next week. Read more here


Background to the preliminary dissolution vote:

In an effort to keep their commitment to an alternating premiership (similar to the coalition agreement), Yair Lapid will be appointed the Prime Minister of the transitional government, and Naftali Bennett will serve as Alternate Prime Minister with responsibility for the Iran portfolio. The coalition formally lost its majority two and a half months ago when Idit Silman, the coalition chairperson, left the coalition.Read more here





Israel on Thursday dispatched two water-dropping aircraft to help battle a large wildfire that has scorched at least 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of forest in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus, following a request from breakaway Turkish Cypriot authorities made through the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. Along with the two Air Tractor AT-802 firefighting planes, the Israeli delegation includes 17 emergency personnel who will assist in the firefighting efforts. The delegation, with various firefighting equipment, was flown to Cyprus aboard an Israeli military plane. Read more here





In response to the recent wave of indiscriminate Palestinian terrorism, Israeli actions targeting terrorists and their supporters have significantly reduced in terror attacks. In the “Break the Wave” campaign, the IDF and undercover security forces have launched multiple raids to stop the violence, especially in the Jenin region of northern Samaria, which has led to a 90% decrease in terrorism.
Israel’s security forces again learned that they could not rely on PA security forces to stop Palestinian violence. In April, after the new campaign began, Israel made 1,128 arrests, compared with 448 in February. Read more here



Construction work began Tuesday to upgrade a section of the West Bank security barrier after a series of deadly terror attacks. The Defence Ministry said a tall concrete wall will replace a 45-km. (28 mile) stretch of fencing. Read more here



A dog by the name of Tzayid (Hebrew for ‘hunter’) thwarted a shooting attack in the Israeli town of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion. The dog belongs to the Israel Dog Unit, a nonprofit that trains and supplies security dogs in vulnerable locations throughout Israel. Read more here





Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka said Wednesday that Israel is in the midst of a sixth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and that at-risk populations, particularly those over the age of 60, have been among those most impacted by the latest wave but stressing that the current spike was not as serious as the previous one.

The latest wave was predominantly fuelled by the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron, detected in more than half of the tested cases. Data released Wednesday showed that over 10,000 coronavirus cases had been identified for the third consecutive day. 10,845 people were diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday.

Zarka said that new restrictions were not imminent, but he urged Israelis to wear masks indoors, particularly while flying and taking public transportation. He added that if serious case numbers continue to climb, the Health Ministry may have to consider recommending, or even mandating, indoor masking. Read more here



A new study at Tel Aviv University and Sourasky Medical Centre has discovered that patients with weakened immune systems from chronic diseases and those taking medications that reduce the body’s ability to fight invading pathogens are at risk of chronic infection and develop several highly mutated coronavirus variants. Read more here






More than 300 Arab and Jewish Israeli children recently joined forces to create a sustainable garden at the Al-Hayat School in the Arab town of Kfar Qassem in central Israel. The Kfar Qassem children were joined in the project by children from the nearby Jewish community of Kfar Saba. For several months leading up to the planting of vegetables, spices, perennials and hydroponic plants, the seventh-graders learned about sustainability, environmental responsibility, climate crisis and consumer culture. Read more here




Moroccan construction workers and caregivers could be working in Israel as part of a pilot project by the beginning of 2023. Israel currently suffers from a shortage of both construction workers snd caregivers for the elderly and infirm. Read more here





12 Egyptian industrialists and businesspeople from the textile industry, whose businesses are part of the 2004 Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement, arrived in Israel on Sunday for the first such visit in a decade. The delegation met Israeli officials from various organizations, including the Manufacturers Association, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, and the Israel Export Institute. They also visited factories throughout the country and met representatives from large Israeli companies. Read more here






A large delegation of 22 Italian water utility companies recently wrapped up a visit to Israel to scout for collaborations and partnerships on water technologies, meeting with startups representatives, government authorities, and business entities as Italy battles the country’s drought in some 70 years. Read more here






A deal to open up Saudi airspace to all flights into and out of Israel is reportedly being discussed ahead of U.S. President Biden’s forthcoming trip to the Middle East. Israeli airlines are permitted to use Saudi airspace for routes to the UAE and Bahrain, but Israel is restricted from using Saudi airspace for any other commercial flights, such as to India and China. Read more here



Israeli entrepreneur Eyal Waldman, former CEO of Mellanox Technologies, returned from a recent visit to Saudi Arabia where he found an “incredible potential” for business opportunities to cooperate with Israel, especially in technological fields. Read more here





Last Friday Israeli and Turkish intelligence services reportedly thwarted an attack on Israelis in Turkey. “There are Israelis who were minutes from death and do not know it,” according to a defence official who said that there had been “significant activity against the Iranian squads”. Senior Israeli defence officials said the coordination between Israeli and Turkish intelligence was “phenomenal.” Read more here



Turkish media reported Thursday that eight suspects working for Iranian intelligence, including Iranian nationals, who were plotting attacks on Israeli citizens in Turkey, were captured by police and the National Intelligence Organization. Read more here





Gazans fired a rocket toward Ashkelon on Saturday after months of relative calm, setting off air raid sirens and sending residents to bomb shelters. Israel intercepted the rocket. In response to the rocket attack, IDF aircraft struck a number of Hamas targets in Gaza,”Read more here





Israel’s first organoid (mini organs) bank was established at Hadassah University Medical Centre on Tuesday. The technology to grow organoids in a lab was discovered a few years ago and now they are used for medical research and translational medicine worldwide. Read more here





Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos spoke to students at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School on Tuesday night in a conversation moderated by Israeli actress Shira Haas.

“We are looking for local, authentic stories,” Sarandos told the “Unorthodox” star. His visit to the school took place after Netflix announced in February that it will support young Israeli creators in the field of scripted television for the first time as part of the school’s new Series Lab programme. Read more here







Solveat is developing functional foods that package powerful but bitter Chinese herbs into a palatable treat that lowers blood sugar. Their first product combines medicinal herbs into chocolate squares from boutique Israeli chocolatier Ornat.  Unlike sugar-free or low-glycaemic foods that reduce carbs, Solveat claims to actively reduce blood sugar. Clinical studies are underway. Among the first volunteers who tried the herb-infused chocolates, blood sugar levels dropped by up to 24%. Read more here



Israeli researchers are crafting a technique that allows pasta to take on 3D shapes after being placed in boiling water. The shape shifting technology has the potential to transform the entire pasta industry – from the process of manufacturing, transporting, and storage to the culinary experience in the kitchen. Read more here





The term “FemTech” was first coined in 2016 and can be described as any digital technology in the female health sector. Here is a list of 7 Israeli companies that are making headlines in this underdeveloped industry. Read more here






The legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was spotted leisurely riding his bike through Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, where he lives with his Israeli wife.  During his time here, the American director has been spotted on several occasions, including in the crowd during a Hanukkah festival, dining in various restaurants and cafes, and even at the cinema queuing to buy popcorn. Read more here





According to Fadi Elsalameen, an adjunct senior fellow at the American Security Project, “The Palestinian Authority is a burden on the Palestinian population. Almost 84% believe the PA is corrupt.”
“We’ve spent almost $40 billion inside the Palestinian territories since 1993, and there’s very little to show for that money. But we do have very wealthy politicians.”
“Most of the economic sector is monopolized by politicians who are directly linked to the president.”
“The majority of the Palestinian economy depends on labour in Israel….You need a permit to enter Israel to work, which is provided for free by the Israelis. But you have to pay the corrupt Palestinian official, who’s now the minister of civil affairs, $500 a month to maintain your permit.” Read more here