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Israel Update 23.3.23

As protests continue against the Israeli government’s proposed reforms to the judicial system, a reminder that domestic politics are outside the scope of this Update. HRG






American-Israeli David Stern was travelling on Sunday with his family on a road near the Palestinian town of Huwara in Samaria when a terrorist shot him in the head and shoulder. Despite taking several hits that could have been fatal to most people, Stern, a former U.S. Marine and trained firearms instructor, was able to maintain his composure and return fire at his attacker wounding him and forcing him to abandon his weapon while fleeing the scene. Stern’s wife and three children escaped injury. Stern is also a trained EMT, and he managed to bandage his own wound before being sent to Beilinson Hospital where his condition is improving.Read more hereRead more hereRead more here



71% of Palestinians support the murder of Israeli brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, as they sat in their car in traffic in Huwara on Feb. 26, according to a poll conducted on March 8-11 by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.  68% say they favour forming armed groups such as the “Lions’ Den,” which do not take orders from the PA. 83% say they are against the surrender of the armed groups’ members and their arms to the PA. Read more here







Or Eshkar, 32, died on Monday, 11 days after he was shot by a terrorist who opened fire outside a cafe on the corner of Dizengoff and Ben Gurion streets. Two other Israelis were less seriously wounded in the attack. Read more here






Two German tourists driving through Nablus on Saturday came under attack by a mob, hurling rocks. Gerald Hatz, one of the tourists said the crowd got “really big” and “really angry.” “I really felt the hate from their eyes, and from the way they were acting. And they were throwing rocks, maybe double the size of my head,” adding that one threatened the pair with a knife. PA security forces were powerless to stop the crowd and instructed the tourists to drive away as fast as possible.
“It definitely changes my view on the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority areas in Judea and Samaria,” Hatz said. He recalled a past trip to Bethlehem where he met a group of 16-year-old boys. “They told me if they meet a Jew on the street, they want to kill him, just like this. And I think it’s a big problem they have so much hate in their education. Read more here






A West Bank Palestinian is to face charges for carrying out a terror stabbing attack in Netanya last week.  He attacked a woman who was accompanied by young children, stabbing her in the shoulder, but fortunately her thick coat saved her from injury.Read more here






For six months prior to the outbreak of the latest Palestinian terror wave in March 2002, the IDF almost totally refrained from entering Jenin and Nablus in order to allow the Palestinian Authority to take control in those areas.
The result was a series of deadly attacks in Israeli cities.
In 2022, 33 Israelis lost their lives in terrorist attacks, while so far this year, the Israeli casualty number stands at 14.
However, Maj. Nir Dinar, head of the IDF’s International Press Department, stressed that “hundreds of people – civilians and IDF soldiers – have been saved as a result of” security operations in “Operation Break the Wave.” Read more here




Israel’s Yamam counterterrorism unit entered Jenin last Thursday and killed two   wanted terrorists, one a senior Hamas member involved in the production of explosive devices and shooting at IDF forces. The other, a senior PIJ membe,r was involved in advancing “significant terrorist activity.  The unit killed a third Palestinian who attacked forces with a crowbar. Read more here



A Palestinian approached IDF troops with a knife on Friday evening at a road junction before being shot and killed.Read more here





Four West Bank Palestinians, allegedly recruited by a terror group in the Gaza Strip to carry out major attacks, have been detained recently by the Shin Bet security agency.  Two were detained over plans to carry out a “significant” shooting attack in Jerusalem and their guns were seized. Another two were detained for allegedly being recruited to carry out a bombing attack in Israel. Read more here







4 year old Ayla from Kalkilya (West Bank) had suffered a rare stroke, but life-saving catheterization at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital cured her. Read more here



Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Sharm el Sheikh on Sunday, along with other Middle Eastern and U.S. representatives, in an effort to lower tensions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started on March 22. A follow-up to a similar meeting held in Jordan last month, the gathering in Egypt focused mainly on security issues and included discussion of how to improve the financial situation of the P.A.  Read more here (paywall)




The Atlantic Council’s N-7 Initiative hosted a conference last week in the UAE aimed at promoting cooperation between Israel and the Arab world while finding solutions to water scarcity and food insecurity. Representatives from 10 Muslim majority countries, Israel and the U.S. were present.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, Director of the N7 Initiative, said, “What is notable about the N7 Conference is that despite…tensions, participants from Israel and some ten Arab states were not just willing, but eager to come to Abu Dhabi to meet.” He said participants have shown interest in employing Israeli water technology across the Middle East at scale, which could address food insecurity. Read more here







Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly signed an agreement in London on Tuesday setting the agenda for bilateral economic, security and technology ties. Read more here






For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israel has reportedly authorized the sale of defensive military equipment to Kyiv, having approved export licenses for two Israeli companies to sell electronic warfare systems with a range of some 40 kilometres (25 miles) that could be used to defend against drone attacks. Russia has sent thousands of Iranian-made suicide drones to attack targets across Ukraine, particularly power stations and other crucial infrastructure. Read more here




German biotechnology company BioNTech is to set up a vaccine plant in Jerusalem. Israel has been looking for a company to establish a vaccines production facility that can be rapidly converted to production of emergency vaccines in the event of another pandemic.  Read more here




A new deal between Toyota and Israel’s Electreon will provide built-in wireless charging for future Toyota electric vehicles. Read more here



Foodtech company ChickP has launched two new prototype plant-based cheese products, analogs for cream cheese and cheddar cheese  using the company’s patented chickpea protein isolate. Read more here







A hereditary muscular disease, limb girdle muscular disease (LGMD), that causes complete immobility and eventual death has been treated for the first time by Israeli researchers from Ben Gurion University and the Soroka Medical Centre. Read more here



The life of a 46-year-old woman from the Philippines has been saved, after she suffered a life-threatening cerebral haemorrhage, by the first in-Israel treatment by cooling her brain cells for over a week at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Centre.  Read more here







Israel is the fourth happiest country in the world, according to the 2023 World Happiness Report released on Monday, up from 9th last year, although the findings predated the widespread social upheaval over the government’s judicial overhaul programme and therefore could not take it into account. Read more here







Around 30,000 runners from Israel and worldwide joined the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon last Friday.  Kenyans Noah Kigen Kiprotich &  Margaret Njuguna won the mens’ & womens’ races respectively. Read more here








Steven Emerson: Terrorism originating from the West Bank soared in 2022, increasing by 62% with 31 Israeli fatalities compared to 4 in 2021 attacks.

Israel launched “Operation Break the Wave” a year ago to try to curb these attacks. Security forces made more than 2,600 terrorism-related arrests, seized 493 weapons, and shut down 14 weapons manufacturing workshops. These raids often led to deadly confrontations. Israeli security forces killed 154 Palestinians in 2022, identifying 130 who were involved in terrorist activity.
The Palestinian Authority continues to foster a “martyrdom culture”, praising the terrorist operatives and giving their families special treatment, including financial support.”
Palestinian media often deliberately twists reality to further incite the killings of Jews by turning the terrorist into the victim and turning the victim into the terrorist. Rather than report the truth that a Palestinian was killed ramming a car into Israelis, or was shot stabbing an Israeli civilian, Palestinians are told the Israelis “executed” an innocent person.
Western governments deliberately turn a blind eye to decades of Palestinian institutional incitement to carry out terrorist atrocities against Jews and the provision of  payouts of massive financial rewards to those who do. They have an ideological anti-Israeli bias that does not hold the Palestinians to any standard. Read more here

As the clocks move an hour forward this weekend, this article weighs up the arguments as to whether daylight saving is ultimately good or bad for our health. Yaarit Adamovich, who has a PhD in biology, is associate staff scientist in the biomolecular sciences lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science studying the connection between circadian clocks and metabolism. Fewer than 40 percent of countries still make the switch to daylight saving time (DST) from standard time (ST) from late March to late October.. Read more here