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Israel Update 9.3.23

A reminder that domestic Israeli politics are outside the scope of these Updates





The terrorist who murdered Israeli brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv as they drove through Huwara on Feb. 26. was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in Jenin on Tuesday. Israeli forces came under “massive gunfire” during the operation, including from Palestinian gunmen firing from an ambulance. Palestinian health officials said at least six people were killed in the fighting and another 12 were injured. Three officers of Israel’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit were wounded during the raid.
All six of the Palestinian fatalities were armed combatants.  Read more here



Israeli Border Police undercover officers entered the Palestinian village of Jaba’, on Thursday to arrest two men wanted for shooting attacks against Israeli forces in the area. During the raid, the wanted men and another gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle at the troops, who returned fire, killing them. Weapons and explosives were found in their car.       Read more here



Four Palestinian students  were arrested by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) after working with Hamas to advance terrorist attacks against Israelis. They had been recruited to Hamas and had received military training in Turkey and Syria. “The ISA views with severity Hamas’ attempts abroad to recruit young people from the West Bank, who embark on academic studies abroad, for terrorist activities against the State of Israel, and will continue to act with the IDF and Israel Police to thwart any dangers to national security,” Read more here





Four patients have received the transplanted corneas of two brothers killed in a terror attack last week.The parents of Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19,  agreed that the corneas of their sons, who carried donation cards, could be transplanted. Read more here




On January 28, IDF officer Lt. Nadav Weinberg and his father were shot by a 13-year-old terrorist just outside the Old City in Jerusalem. Despite being seriously wounded, Weinberg returned fire wounding the terrorist before he was detained by police. For around a month, the officer remained hospitalized in serious condition but on Wednesday, for the first time since the attack, Weinberg put on his uniform and joined around 1,000 troops of the 202nd Paratroopers Battalion, at the Western Wall for a military ceremony. The officer has yet to fully recover from wounds sustained in the attack.Read more here





Holon’s traditional Adloyada Purim Parade is one of the most spectacular parades of the year with thousands of  marchers & dancers garbed in glittery costumes  promenading down the city’s street. Similar events attracted tens of thousands of spectators in Herzlia, Kfar Saba, Rishon Lezion & Netanya. Photos here


To mark Purim the Jerusalem municipality invited renowned artist and costume designer Adi Anna Telezhynski to dress six landmark buildings across the city.  4:45 )  Video


Traditional hamantaschen (the triangular pastries eaten at Purim) were filled with poppyseed (mohn) but these days, some Israeli bakeries produce them with a variety of sweet & savoury fillings including lemon, lotus-salted pretzel, chocolate fudge, raspberry, pistachio & Oreo, sweet potato, eggplant, pecan, pistachio & dark coconut.Read more here




Young Russian immigrant Kalim Agrakov (20) said that doctors in St Petersburg had been unable to treat his cancer. Now with groundbreaking CAR-T treatment at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, his acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is in remission. Read more here






A team of Israeli doctors led by Dr. Ronit Almog, senior gynaecologist and head of the Meviim Haim Laolam (Bring life to the world) humanitarian project travelled to Brazil. After setting up a clinic in one of Rio’s favelas, they travelled in defunct navy ships converted  into sailing hospitals to isolated villages along the Amazon, before going on to  Guatemala  for further medical volunteer work. Read more here




Last week, Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Noam Katz, donated blood for the injured after the deadly train crash that claimed the lives of 46 passengers. Read more here





Korean tech giant Samsung is seeking to integrate innovative technologies developed by Israeli startups and tech companies into its mobile devices products and software. As part of a tech programme, Samsung will be funding selected companies with a $50,000 grant each and providing them with technical support from their R&D units over a six-month period.    Read more here



Israeli battery technology startup Addionics  is opening a pilot manufacturing line for its Smart 3D Electrodes for electric vehicle (EV) batteries that improve energy density, power, safety and durability without increasing cost. Addionics, a 2022 Bloomberg  New Energy Finance Pioneer  and 2022 Frost & Sullivan Battery Technology Innovation Leadership awardee, is already working with top global companies to integrate its product in the rapidly growing EV market. Read more here



A tiny robot developed in Israel is no bigger than a pen, yet it has all the tools a brain surgeon needs to operate on a patient. Tamar Robotics has developed the world’s smallest and most accurate robotic system for minimally invasive brain surgery, with a diameter of just 10mm (0.4in). Read more here



The startup, DenovAI, is the second Israeli company established with funding and support from AION Labs, a Rehovot-based organization launched in 2021 with a mission to create and invest in early-stage startups focused on AI and computational biology in drug discovery and development. AION Labs is a collaboration between pharmaceutical heavyweights Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, together with Amazon’s AWS and the Israel Biotech Fund.Read more here






Israel-based defence electronics company Elbit Systems said its Romanian subsidiary Elmet International was awarded a $120 million contract to supply the Romanian land forces with equipment for the Piranha V armored personnel carrier. The company will supply UT30 MK2 unmanned turrets, remote controlled weapon stations, (RCWS)and SPEAR mortar systems. Elbit Systems has previously delivered turrets, RCWS and mortar systems to the U.S., Denmark, Austria, and Belgium.Read more here






Israeli soccer star Manor Solomon has now scored five goals in his last five games with Fulham F.C., four in the Premier League and one during Fulham’s 2-0 FA Cup third round victory over Hull. He is also one of only four Fulham players to score in  four consecutive Premier League matches.  Read more here

View several of his goals (among those of other players) in this (3:41)  video


Basketball: In an intense showdown that went down to the final minute, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv grabbed its 11th home win of the season by edging Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 78-74 in the Euroleague on Wednesday night. video (2:53)





Israel’s entry “Unicorn” by Noa Kirel was unveiled this week: 3:12 Video




The Israel Antiquities Authority said Friday that an ancient shard bearing the name of the Persian king Darius the Great that had been announced last week to much fanfare was “not authentic.” In the Wednesday announcement, the authority had said the fragment found by a hiker in Israel’s Judean lowlands region was the first discovery of an inscription bearing the name of Darius I anywhere in Israel. Read more here





Ahed al-Hindi: The aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria saw the heroism of Israeli rescue teams, who saved dozens of lives through quick and selfless action, as well as the nihilism of the Assad regime, which chose to see its own people die rather than receive assistance from “the Zionist entity.”

Where Syrians win a measure of freedom from that tyranny, they tend to choose partnership with Israelis. A few months before the earthquake, the Arab Council for Regional Integration, a civil movement supported by the Centre for Peace Communications whose Syria chapter I lead, organized a knowledge transfer operation in the country’s autonomous northeast — the one part of Syria that is free of both jihadist and Iranian domination. We brought Israeli expertise to bear on two dire problems the territory faces…

Hundreds of civilians in the northeast are killed or wounded each year by landmines, which number in the thousands. Some were planted by the regime and others by ISIS in a series of scorched earth campaigns. As to the minority of land that can be safely cultivated, it suffers from longterm desertification — due to drought and decades of neglect by a predatory central government..

To address these problems, we convened Syrian Arab and Kurdish engineering students in the northeast town of Qamishle for a 35-hour remote learning course, through which they acquired software and hardware design skills to construct two smart devices out of a low-cost circuitboard. Their teacher, beamed into the classroom via Zoom, was Majd Thabet, a Druze citizen of northern Israel…

For generations, Syrians have been indoctrinated to hate Israel, taught that it is a “usurping entity” bent on exploiting and harming its Arab neighborus. But this propaganda apparently had not penetrated the Syrian engineering student who organized the class, nor the peers he invited to participate.Full article here



Gil Troy: The riots against Palestinians in Huwara by Israelis, enraged that a Palestinian terrorist murdered two Jewish brothers driving through there earlier that day, were appalling – but they weren’t “pogroms.” Invoking this false analogy, be it out of malice or mere ignorance, hijacks Jews’ historical traumas to inflame an incendiary situation.
The pogroms in Eastern Europe were state-sanctioned and rarely spontaneous. By contrast, pictures from Huwara showed Israeli soldiers saving Palestinians from the flames. Mainstream Israeli leaders condemned the violence…Pogroms came from the centre of Eastern European society, while the anti-Palestinian violence came from the margins of Israeli society.
Meanwhile, anti-Jewish violence comes from the Palestinian mainstream. Palestinian leaders openly call for the destruction of the Jewish state and sponsor “martyr’s funds” to pay the families of those that carry out attacks against Israel. By contrast, the Hurawa riots outraged most Israelis. An Israeli politician raised $300,000 for Hurawa’s victims overnight. No Cossacks ran post-pogrom charity drives for Jews.
Words matter. Misappropriating words cruelly alleges that the once-innocent victims of bigotry have themselves become bullying bigots. Scavenging a people’s past pain to weaponize it against them today is no way to work through conflict toward a healthy future. Full article here (paywall)