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Israel Update 18.5.23

There will be no Israel Update next week as it is Erev Shavuot. HRG


I wish my readers a Happy Jerusalem Day.

Commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967






Inga Avramyan, 80, was killed in a rocket strike by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on May 11 as she tried to help her paralyzed husband reach shelter.Their grandson said that she was her husband’s carer and the family didn’t know what he’ll do without her.  The direct hit blew a massive hole in their third-floor apartment in Rehovot, 27 miles north of Gaza. The IDF said that an Iron Dome interceptor missile suffered a “technical fault” and missed the rocket that struck the building. Read more here



Abdullah Abu Jaba, 34, a Gazan labourer working in Israel, was killed on Saturday by a PIJ rocket strike. His brother, Hamad Abu Jaba, was critically wounded and an Israeli Bedouin was also wounded. Israel’s defence minister and National Insurance Institute have approved recognition of Abdullah as a victim of terror which will entitle his widow and 6 children to (Israeli) state payments. Read more hereRead more here




Prakobsuk Saengsai, 42, a Thai farm worker working in Israel, was hit in the arm by shrapnel following a PIJ rocket attack on Thursday. Israeli National Insurance authorities have agreed to cover the injured man’s medical costs and compensate him for time off work.Read more here




Miriam Karen’s home in Ashkelon was hit by Gazan rockets for the second time in five years last week.Read more here



Israel and PIJ on Saturday agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza.Read more here



The IDF reported that PIJ had fired 1,478 rockets and mortars at Israel.  Iron Dome shot down over 430 rockets, 95% of rockets heading for built-up areas. Some 20% of PIJ rockets landed inside Gaza, killing three Gazans and wounding dozens.
The IDF reduced PIJ’s mortar fire capabilities by 50% by striking 63 mortar-connected targets. It also destroyed 122 concealed rocket positions, which prevented the firing of another 800 rockets, and struck 12 locations used to manufacture rockets.Read more here



A significant part of Israeli airstrikes and countermeasures use unmanned aircraft and a senior commanded said they had to stop drone actions “dozens of times” because of the presence of civilians.  Read more here



Israeli officials said that Iran had been attempting to disrupt any ceasefire agreement with PIJ. Tehran finances the PIJ with tens of millions of dollars.Read more here







The Israeli Consulate in Atlanta plans to send a letter of complaint to CNN after host Christiane Amanpour said last week that members of the Dee family were “killed in a shootout.” implying that the victims of terror were also shooting.(The Dees were unarmed)Read more here




Israel’s Foreign Minister has offered Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in April, the role of special envoy. Read more here







In a speech at the UN this week, the P.A. president stated  “[Israel] denies the Palestinians their right to freedom of worship in the Al-Aqsa Mosque”

However, recently during Ramadan Israel facilitated visits to the Temple Mount by a record-breaking number of nearly 4 million worshippers, both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Muslims. Full analysis here



Abbas also reversed many of his previously stated positions, a change of stance that shows him now rejecting not only any Israeli presence and claims in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, but also Israel’s legitimacy in its pre-1967 borders, while demanding the termination of Israel as a majority-Jewish state. Read more here







The European Parliament passed a resolution last week condemning the Palestinian Authority over the “hateful” content of its textbooks and conditioning future funding for education on the removal of antisemitic material.  It is the fourth consecutive year that the parliament has passed a resolution criticizing the PA for its school material. Read more here






Dozens of businesswomen from across the world gathered in Morocco earlier this week to explore new possibilities and build new connections fostered by the power of innovation and coexistence and to enable regional co-operation. Participants came from Bahrain, Benin, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, the UAE, the US, and others. Read more here







Israel has delivered to Greece the two first (of 10) M-346, the training aircraft that will undertake the training and familiarization of the Greek Air Force’s new generation of pilots to the requirements of the latest fighter jets. Israeli defence company Elbit Systems has undertaken the creation of an International Flight Training Centre at 120 ΑΤW Kalamata. Read more here







Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen visited Sweden on Monday, the first Israeli FM to do so in 22 years, following a thaw in relations between Jerusalem and Stockholm since 2021 after years of tension.Read more here







Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and former US Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has received an honorary doctorate from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for her work as an author and global health advocate. She said (inter alia)“When David Ben-Gurion founded this university, I do not know that he could have foreseen all the work that BGU would support, catalyse and inspire…”Read more here








Thousands of industry leaders from 45 countries have been attending the three-day Biomed Israel 2023 life sciences conference this week in Tel Aviv to learn what Israeli scientists, engineers and physicians have to offer. Read more here


For the first time Biomed hosted a delegation of senior executives from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Casablanca.Read more here








In Israel, there are around 70 startups in the ophthalmologic field.

Among them:

New eyedrops developed by Orasis will be able to correct farsightedness (presbyopia) – albeit for a few hours and  CorNeat Vision says it has developed a synthetic cornea that can fully rehabilitate corneal blind patients and integrate into their eye tissue. Read more here







Brian Kemp, the governor of the US state of Georgia, is making an economic development trip to Israel. Georgia exported $280 million in goods and services to Israel, making it the state’s 34th-largest export market. Imports from Israel were $650 million, making it the state’s 29th-largest import trading partner. Georgia officials say Israeli companies employ more than 1,000 Georgians. Read more here








Israel’s natural gas exports to Egypt and Jordan increased sharply in 2022, with 5.81 billion cubic meters) to Egypt reflecting a jump of 37% from 2021, and 3.4 BCM to Jordan, an increase of 16.8%. To further expand gas exports to Egypt, Israel is building a 46 km. underwater gas pipeline.Read more here







When the Rabbi met Noa:

Noa Kirel with her song “Unicorn” finished 3rd in the Eurovision song contest. Israel received top marks from the juries of Italy, Azerbaijan, France, Armenia and Poland. Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who won the 2018 contest, was one of 6 “past iconic Eurovision acts” to perform.Read more here

When the Rabbi met Noa:Read more here







Israel’s under-20 men’s national soccer team has arrived in Argentina and is preparing for its first-ever appearance in FIFA’s under-20 World Cup, which begins this weekend. FIFA had stripped Indonesia of its hosting rights in March when that country refused to allow entry to the Israeli team.Read more here



Israeli judoka Inbar Lanir won a gold medal on Friday at the World Judo Championships in Qatar, in the 78-kilogram weight class. Read more here




Sports fans watching the EuroLeague Final Four, Europe’s top-tier basketball competition, this weekend will be able to get as close of a view of the players in action as the referee. For the first time, referees will be wearing an AI-powered lightweight bodycam developed by Israeli sports startup MindFly. Read more here







Col. Richard Kemp: EXTRACTS. No other military is capable of defending its people with the ferocity and precision the IDF has been showing.
While the UN Secretary-General has said that civilian deaths in Gaza are “unacceptable,” the IDF is known by all Western military commanders to be more effective than any other force in the world in preventing the deaths of civilians in enemy territory. Knowing the IDF as I do, I can be confident that they are closely adhering to – and going beyond – international laws of war in this conflict.  read more here




JPost Editorial:EXTRACT. P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech on Monday at the UN commemorating the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation was a text full of hate and lies. There is no proof of Jewish ties to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, Abbas claimed, referring to the ancient Temple Mount, where overwhelming archaeological and textual evidence proves that the First and Second Jewish Temples once stood there….Abbas also repeated his claim that the Palestinians were descendants of the biblical Canaanites, who lived centuries before the birth of Islam. But they certainly didn’t make Jerusalem their capital. Only the Jews have ever made Jerusalem their capital.
“The biggest lie is the claim that Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East,” said Abbas, who has just completed the 18th year of his four-year term. Abbas’ reiteration of old lies and libels against Israel and the Jewish people is proof that the head of the PA is simply not interested in peace with Israel. Read more here




Micah Halpern EXTRACT: Israel warns the people of Gaza before an air strike. Now, Hamas has threatened that anyone who leaves their homes after the warning will be killed as Israeli collaborators.

This directive – this command – from the terrorist leadership up on high offers crystal clear insight into the diabolical nature of the mindset of those whose life’s work is the destruction of Israel. If Gaza residents do not leave their homes and seek shelter, they will be killed by the Israeli air strike, and Israel will be blamed for their deaths. Read more here




A useful article by Andrew Loewy explaining with historical sources how Arab leaders contributed to Palestinians becoming refugees through their actions and false promises. Read here


A number of other interesting articles were published this week – here are the links:


Another piece by Col. Kemp: Israel Under Fire and the West’s Pusillanimous Response.Read here


Stephen Daisley: The Inconvenient Palestinians.Read here (paywall but can register for 3 free articles a month)


Paul Schneider: Debunking the claim that Israel is a “settler-colonial project”. Read here