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Israel Update 29.12.22



British weekly The Economist ranked Israel as tied fourth with Spain among 34 OECD countries’ economic performance in 2022. The rankings were based on GDP growth, annual inflation, inflation breadth, share prices, and government debt. Although inflation in Israel rose in the past year, its 5.3% inflation level is about half that of most Western economies. Israel’s Finance Ministry estimates that the economy grew at a rate of 6.3% in 2022. Part of the reason for this year’s unexpected rankings may be that Israel, unlike Germany, Latvia and other European countries, does not rely on Russian gas and oil. Read more here Read more here(paywall)



Israel’s exports of goods and services will amount to at least $160 billion in 2022, a new record and up more than 10% from last year. Read more here






A document composed by the EU mission in eastern Jerusalem and defined as secret, exposes the EU’s intention to help Palestinians gain control over Area C of Judea and Samaria, which under the Oslo Accords is fully under Israeli control, Israel’s Channel 13 revealed last week.  Read more here



The Israel Defence  and Security Forum, which includes 16,000 former military, security, and police officers, wrote an open letter to the head of the EU delegation to Israel, calling the revelation that the EU is working on a Palestinian takeover of Area C of the West Bank “an act of blatant hostility and aggression.”
They wrote, “According to our professional understanding of national security, the dominant terrain of Judea and Samaria in Area C is key strategic terrain that controls or can threaten most of the modern State of Israel’s infrastructure and strategic assets.” Read more here



In a letter to top EU officials, dozens of Knesset members called the leaked EU document an “extremely grave breach” of the EU-Israel relationship.
“The document completely ignores our people’s historical affinity to our homeland,” the letter said, highlighting its call to monitor Israeli archaeological activities at Jewish heritage sites. “This singular call has but one goal: to subvert the deep and indestructible bond between the Jewish people and its country and homeland.” It called on the EU to halt illegal construction in areas under Israeli control, stop activities that damage heritage sites and nature in the West Bank, and desist from funding NGOs that seek to delegitimize Israel. Read more here



Recently, dozens of Palestinians descended on Samaria National Park located in Area C (which is under full Israeli control) to carry out “repair works” in which they deliberately destroyed antiquities in a move organised by the Palestinian Authority. The park contains important historical remnants from the First temple Era, attributed to the capital of Samaria from the time of King Ahab of Israel. Read more here







The Israel Security Agency announced that it had prevented a major suicide bombing attack in Israel. Beginning on Dec. 14, there were several rounds of arrests of Palestinians, including uncovering operatives and their handlers, and confiscation of explosive materials designated for the bombing. Terrorists in Gaza were involved in directing West Bank terror operatives in the plot.Read more here




Israeli security forces have arrested a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem with ties to the Islamic State jihadist group in connection with a deadly double bombing attack in the capital last month.Read more here







Two police officers were wounded in a car-ramming attack in the Israeli-Arab town Kafr Qasem last  Friday. The driver, who also opened fire at the officers, was shot and killed.  Read more here

Palestinian terrorists carried out shooting attacks at Israeli targets last Friday & Sunday.Read more hereRead more here


The number of Palestinian terror attacks rose sharply in 2022. Corresponding figures for 2021, 2020 & 2019 in brackets.

In 2022, 31 Israelis were killed in Palestinian terror attacks, a majority being civilians. (4, 3 and 5)
285 shooting incidents were recorded in the West Bank. (61, 31 and 19).
There were 1,268 firebomb incidents. (1,022, 751 and 839).
There were 7,589 rock-throwing incidents. (5,532, 4,002 and 3,805).  Read more here








According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics as at the end of 2021 the Christian population in Israel numbered 183,000, 1.9% of the population, having increased by 3,600 during 2021.  Read more here







In modern Bethlehem, the centuries-old Christian population is dwindling and afraid. The city’s Christian population has dropped from 84% of the total a century ago to 20% today, and is falling further in the face of discrimination and threats from elements of the Muslim majority.Read more here   (paywall)




Kamal Tarazi, a Christian man who fled from Hamas-controlled Gaza in 2007, said, “The moment they [Hamas] took control, they started persecuting us, ruining our churches and forcing Christians to convert to Islam.”
“The attacks by Muslims on Christians are often ignored by the international community and media, who seem to speak out only when they can find a way to blame Israel,” wrote Muslim journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. Read more here



Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar told Al-Masirah TV on Dec. 12, 2022: “When we speak about the Army of Jerusalem…we are not talking about liberating our land alone….The entire 510 million square km of Planet Earth will come under [a system] where there is…no Zionism, no treacherous Christianity.” Read more here







British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger is set to launch in Israel, opening at least 40 cafes in the country over the next decade. Read more here




7-Eleven is to open its first branch in Israel on January 11th in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Centre. Read more here







On Dec. 27, Israel launched the “Reverse Water Carrier” project to send desalinated water from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in order to maintain the level of the Kinneret in dry and low rainfall years..Recently, Israel agreed to double the amount of water it supplies to Jordan to 100 million cubic meters annually, making the need to maintain the Kinneret’s level even more critical. It is the first time that desalinated water is being used to replenish a lake.Read more here Read more here







A dozen programmes aimed at increasing the participation of  the Israeli-Arab community in Israel’s high-tech workforce will receive some NIS 21.6 million ($6 million) in government funding…The move comes amid a sustained effort to increase the participation of the Arab sector in the high-tech industry, one of the leading engines behind the Israeli economy. Read more here








In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Tel Aviv University who equipped 5,000 Israelis with smart watches and monitored their physiological parameters over two years, found that the COVID-19 booster vaccine is safe…The most surprising finding was that the watches were more sensitive than the people they were monitoring.Read more here







Romania has signed a framework agreement with Israel’s Elbit Systems to buy up to seven Watchkeeper X drones… Watchkeeper, based on the Elbit Hermes 450 drone, is manufactured by U-TacS, a joint venture of Elbit Systems and Thales UK.Read more here


The Finnish Defence Ministry has announced that it has signed a deal with an unnamed Israeli defence company for long-range 122mm missiles. Read more here



Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems has signed a multi-million dollar contract to supply its Typhoon Mk30-C naval defence system to an Asian country. Read more here



Elbit Systems has announced a $36 million contract to supply four F-16 Full Mission Simulators to the Polish Air Force. Read more here






Theranica’s vibrating armband can ease crippling migraine pain, reducing and in some cases ending the need for medication. Read more here







Israeli startup AIR is developing AIR ONE an all-electric two-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft with a 110 mile range on a single charge. AIR ONE has successfully completed its first unmanned cruise flight, has an airworthiness certificate, collapsible wings for easy parking and can take off from or land on any flat surface. It is tailored for personal use and seeks to offer an everyday alternative for short distance commuting in the sky. Read more here




Nanosono a startup based in Yokneam, has developed nanoparticles made of zinc oxide and copper oxide, which can be embedded in paint, fabrics, plastics and other materials and can kill up to 99.999 per cent of bacteria and viruses. Read more here






An Israeli hotel, The Jaffa, was included in this year’s Condé Nast Traveller’s “Gold List,” a prestigious annual roll call of the luxury travel magazine’s top places to stay in the world. Read more here







Alan Baker: The EU cannot and should not attempt to prejudge or impose the outcome of the permanent status negotiation. In attempting to undermine Israel’s legitimate administration in Area C and in encouraging the Palestinians to violate the accords, the EU is in clear violation of its commitment vis-a-vis the Israeli and Palestinian parties to the Accords…it is high time that Israel’s government take a far more assertive role in clarifying to the EU and its member states that the anti-Israel fixation of its staff and its actions in undermining Israel’s legitimate authority and jurisdiction in Area C will no longer be tolerated and must cease. Read more here



Dan Diker:  The EU’s secret Palestinian building plan for Area C is an egregious violation of the Oslo Accords and disqualifies Europe as a fair and professional mediating body in the Middle East conflict. The EU plan violates Israel’s legal rights as affirmed by the Oslo Accords. Read more here