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Israel Update 8.9.22



President Herzog publicly stressed Israel’s opposition to the current Iran nuclear deal draft, saying “Iran is openly striving for Israel’s destruction, and the international community must treat it severely, firmly and assertively,” as he met German President Steinmeier in Berlin on Sunday.

The two presidents on Monday led commemorations marking 50 years since 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics, with Berlin asking forgiveness from the families of the victims and admitting responsibility for a litany of failings. The German government had confirmed on Friday that the families of the 11 murdered Israeli athletes will receive a total of 28 million euros in compensation. Read more here Read more here





A research team at Tel Aviv University have identified two antibodies that neutralize all known strains of the coronavirus, including Delta and Omicron, in a lab setting which could eliminate the need for more vaccine boosters. Microbiologist Dr. Natalia Freund, who directed the new study, said the antibodies she identified could be used to concoct a particularly potent infusion to treat coronavirus patients. Read more here and Read more here


Being vaccinated with at least two doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine dramatically reduces most of the long-term symptoms that people reported months after contracting the virus, according to a new study at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. Read more here




For the first time in over a decade, a Turkish warship docked in an Israeli port on Saturday, a sign of both the rapprochement between the two countries and Israel’s close alliance with NATO. Turkish destroyer F-247 TCG Kemalreis, sailed into the Haifa port along with the U.S. Navy ship USS Forrest Sherman, as part of a NATO drill.  Read more here





Members of the European Union’s Parliament’s influential Foreign Affairs Committee  strongly criticised UNWRA’s Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini last week over the content of textbooks used by UNRWA schools, citing findings from the latest report by Israeli NGO IMPACT-se, which monitors Palestinian curricula to assess whether young people are being indoctrinated with hate. The report examined UNRWA’s self-produced educational materials and found that they promoted hatred, antisemitism, and the celebration of terrorism, bloodshed, and martyrdom. Read more here





An Israeli soldier was moderately hurt in a stabbing attack near Hebron last Friday afternoon. The attacker was shot dead. Read more here


Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a bus carrying IDF soldiers in the Jordan valley on Sunday, seriously wounding one soldier. Another five soldiers and the bus’s civilian driver were hurt. The attack came amid rising violence in the West Bank. Two suspected gunmen were arrested.Read more here



Four Israeli soldiers were injured after Palestinians opened fire at a military post on Sunday night. Read more here



A Palestinian assailant was shot dead after attacking an Israeli soldier with a hammer on Thursday. The attacker was later found to be also carrying a knife. Read more here






Hamas and Islamic Jihad recently held a meeting where Hamas called on I.J. to financially compensate the families of the civilian victims who were killed by its rockets that fell inside the Gaza Strip. Sources said that I.J. denied that any of its rockets fell inside Gaza and rejected any responsibility. An investigation team had collected evidence indicating that Gazans were killed by locally made rockets, finding rocket shrapnel and local missiles that had fallen residential neighbourhoods. Read more here






The Israel Airports Authority will aim to reduce noise and air pollution at Ben Gurion Airport by banning four-engine civilian aircraft, including Boeing 747s and other jumbo jets, starting March 2023. Read more here





Israel and the United States carried out joint simulation drills in the central part of Israel, where Israel’s Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome air defence systems, as well as the U.S. Patriot, Aegis, and Thaad systems.
The exercise was held in June and announced this week. Read more here



The Swiss Air Force is looking toward future threats with its new fleet of Hermes Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) manufactured by Israel’s Elbit Systems. The six UAVs will be fully operational by the end of 2023.  Read more here






The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security and counterintelligence service, has thwarted hundreds of terror attacks this year, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Thursday at an awards ceremony for the organization’s agents who had excelled in intelligence operations in 2021. Read more here








Harman, Samsung’s audio electronics company has bought Netanya-based startup Caaresys to expand its automotive product offerings and “offer new levels of in-vehicle safety, comfort, and well-being in its growing product line.” Caareys has developed a radar-based monitoring system to track the health and vital signs of vehicle occupants. Read more here



Israeli start-up  ansā has created a fully automatic micro-roaster that provides on-demand roasting of coffee beans just before the cup of coffee is made. The countertop machine has AI for a balanced and homogenized roast and sensors that monitor progress in real time. Read more here




Israel’s largest supermarket chain Shufersal has opened the country’s first entirely autonomous grocery stores in Tel Aviv. The new Shop&Go convenience store is powered by Israeli startup Trigo which uses AI tech and ceiling-mounted cameras to track every item a shopper selects (or puts back). Customers scan a QR code as they enter, and the purchase amount is automatically deducted as they leave. Read more here



Climate tech company Airovation Technologies has developed two indoor air purifying technologies: The “Air-O”, which treats carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (harmful gases emitted from various products), airborne viruses and bacteria, and the “Airosphera”, which uses sensors to measure and reflect environmental conditions for infants as well as their own vitals, and treat the air around them. Their air-purifying technologies are to be utilised for products in Taiwan and Greater China in a new partnership with ASUSTek Computer Inc. Read more here






Backed by FIFA, Israeli company Playermaker’s shoe-mounted trackers can unlock athletes’ potential in ways difficult to detect with the naked eye, while also helping protect them from injury and improving management. Founded in Tel Aviv in 2014, the technology has already been used in over 250 elite, professional and recreational soccer organizations, including English football teams Arsenal and Liverpool. Read more here






Israelis have found themselves at the vanguard of dry-weather wine production, specifically in the Negev desert, testing approaches that might soon find more global application. Several boutique wineries produce (inter alia) malbec, merlot, and petit verdot syrah. Read more here and Read more here





This weekend Tel Aviv is showcasing its art and artists with a “Love Art, Make Art” event, September 8-10. Dozens of activities, tours, conversations and workshops will be held throughout the city, with 150 artists opening their studios, along with 30 galleries and four museums offering free entry for the 20th anniversary of the event. Read more here






David Rose: It is a tale of two ghost hospitals. The first containing state-of-the-art medical equipment but almost no doctors or patients. The other is a 50-acre hole in the ground. Both were high-prestige health projects, launched with loud fanfares by the Palestinian Authority; indeed, the gleaming edifice is named after its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
But the two-year-old Mahmoud Abbas general hospital in Halhul, near Hebron, lies deserted, due to incompetence and corruption. And the Khaled Hasan Cancer Centre in Surda, northeast of Ramallah — intended as one of the finest cancer units in the Middle East — will never arise from the hole in the ground. Here too, millions have been wasted.
The ghost hospitals are grotesque symbols of the cronyism and wastage that dogs the PA health sector, which has soaked up more than 200 million pounds of British taxpayers’ cash since 2008. Read more here




Majid Rafizadeh: Biden’s new (draft) nuclear deal is the biggest gift that one could give to the world’s “top state sponsor of terrorism”: unlimited nuclear weapons; no inspections past, present, or future; the missiles to deliver them; enriched uranium to be held by Russia and returned to Iran or wherever they both decide; and “$100 billion per year to spread terror around the globe.”
(The writer is a board member of Harvard International Review and president of the International American Council on the Middle East.) Read more here

Toby Greene: Liz Truss’s worldview and what it means for UK-Israel relations. Read more here