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Israel Update 20.7.23




Wednesday’s speech, in a House chamber filled with lawmakers from both bodies of Congress, was only the second by an Israeli president; the previous one was given 35 years ago by Herzog’s father Chaim. “Although we are working through sore issues, just like you, I know our democracy is strong and resilient. Israel has democracy in its DNA” Herzog declared to loud applause.

Full text & embedded video (begins at 28’40 ends 1 hour 9 mins) here



The speech was marked by 30 standing ovations. Out of a total of 535 members of Congress, only five decided not to attend. Read more here







An Israeli man Elroi Kapach was wounded and his two daughters Rachel and Avigayil lightly hurt in a Palestinian drive-by shooting attack near Tekoa on Sunday. The IDF later announced the detention of a suspect. Read more here




Palestinian gunmen attacked Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus late Wednesday night. In addition to shooting, Palestinians threw explosives, burned tyres, and threw rocks. The IDF acted to protect the worshippers, and several Palestinian terrorists were wounded in the exchange of fire. Read more here







Israel sent two Elad firefighting aircraft early Thursday to help control wildfires in Greece. The Prime Minister’s Office said Israel will “stand by Greece in combating massive wildfires and acknowledges Greece’s aid given in recent wildfire incidents in Israel.” Read more here







The P.A. on July 10 rejected an Israeli offer to help prevent its collapse in exchange for Palestinian steps to halt key anti-Israel policies. Under Israel’s terms, the PA would cease its activities against Israel in international diplomatic and legal forums, stop illegal construction in parts of the West Bank, end incitement against Israelis, and stop pay-to-slay payments to families of Palestinian terrorists who kill Israelis. In return, Israel would take economic, tourist, and security measures to stabilize the PA.
In refusing the bailout offer, the PA Prime Minister vowed to continue anti-Israel efforts in the international arena and reiterated a 2018 pledge by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said, “Even if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners, and their families.”  Read more here









The EasTech high-tech campus was inaugurated in eastern Jerusalem on Monday, part of the Israeli government’s effort to create jobs for Arab programmers and technology professionals, with an investment of about NIS 200m ($55m). Companies are offered workspace free of charge in order to encourage and develop the high-tech sector in the eastern part of the city. Both Israeli and international hi-tech companies will be based there. Read more here







During his visit to Washington, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Wednesday a new joint five-year initiative in which each country will invest up to $35 million “to support climate-smart agriculture through innovative technologies and improved capture, storage, use, and protection of critical water resources in the Middle East and Africa.”  Read more here








Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL) owns Boulby Mine in North Yorkshire, the deepest mine in the UK and currently the world’s only polyhalite mine. Polyhalite, a naturally occurring crystal, is a new organic fertiliser, used on the Wimbledon turf and exported worldwide. Read more here

Times article here (paywall)








The Israeli government was due to approve a plan to fund, develop and protect ancient Jewish archaeological sites in Area C of the West Bank. 80% of over 3000 antiquity sites in the West Bank are in Area C, under Israeli military and civilian control. Most of these sites are vulnerable to robbery and vandalism and some 1,000 have been damaged in recent years. Read more here







Israel’s Elbit Systems has won a $114 million contract to provide two long-range patrol aircraft to an Asian-Pacific customer. Read more here








The Knesset plenum has approved in a preliminary reading a bill requiring license plates for electric scooters and bicycles. The bill will now go to the Economics Committee for approval.Read more here









A group of physician-entrepreneurs at Sheba Medical Centre have developed a product that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose a patient’s cardiac problem in minutes. Any doctor, not just a cardiologist, can use the AISAP a handheld ultrasound probe with a digital tablet.  Read more here



Medical startup Bionaut Labs is testing its technology at a Mayo Clinic facility and is poised to begin clinical trials with five top-tier US medical centres as it applies for FDA approval. The company’s Bionaut, a micro-robot smaller than a grain of rice, is guided through a patient’s central nervous system into a targeted spot in the brain where it can perform minor surgery, deliver therapeutic drugs, or return with tissue for a biopsy.    Read more here



Accyourate, a European digital health company whose smart T-shirt records and monitors vital body signs such as heart rate and breathing patterns, is opening a data analysis centre in Tel Aviv. Read more here







Israeli company Caniel has designed a “spurt-free” tuna can that lets users gently pump the base to squeeze out the oil, rather than pressing in the lid and spilling it all over their hands.Read more here








Israeli sprinter Blessing Akwasi Afrifah (19) won a gold medal at the 2023 European Athletics Under-23 Championships. Read more here




AFC Bournemouth ended their warm-weather training camp in Marbella with a 1-0 defeat by Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday.Read more here



Michael Woods of Israel Premier Tech (Israel’s cycling team) won Stage 9 of the Tour de France. Read more here







Israel’s national anthem was played in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh last week at an eSports tournament with Israeli competitors. An Israeli team, who had entered the country on their Israeli passports, were competing in the world finals for the soccer videogame FIFA. They flew the Israeli flag and were greeted with Israel’s anthem Hatikvah at the tournament’s opening ceremony. Read more here







Beachgoers in Israel can look forward to a relatively jellyfish-free sea this coming season, according to researchers at the University of Haifa. Read more here







Post-script to recent Jenin operation



According to Col. Richard Kemp (retired British Army officer)”To conduct an operation of such intensity in an urban area without killing any uninvolved civilians at all is a remarkable achievement by the IDF and probably unprecedented in modern warfare. Casualty ratios in most such operations have often been 3 to 5 civilians killed for every fighter, and that is by Western armies that do their best to avoid civilian casualties and adhere to the laws of war,” he explained, adding: “I doubt any other army in the world would be able to achieve what the IDF did in Jenin.”
Col. Kemp noted that avoiding civilian casualties in a terrorist stronghold such as Jenin “is even more remarkable given that the terrorists in Jenin hid behind the civilian population, used human shields and deliberately tried to lure the IDF into killing civilians in order to attract world condemnation.” Read more here





Gil Troy: Although Israel’s army left Jenin on July 5 after two days spent attacking terrorist infrastructure, the cycle of nonsense attacking Israel’s action began…In Jenin, Israel was cutting out tumours, not “mowing the lawn.” The “tumours” included hundreds of weapons confiscated, multiple bomb-making factories destroyed, and two terrorist command-and-control centres eradicated.
Despite more than 1,000 soldiers entering that once impenetrable area, only 12 Palestinian militants died in combat. Hundreds fled because hunting them wasn’t the main mission.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 devastated Jenin’s economy, just as the P.A. started losing control. Backed by millions of Iranian dollars, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and smaller terrorist groups infiltrated Jenin. After trusting the PA’s security for years, by the time the IDF realized that terrorists had reconquered Jenin, a dramatic raid was necessary.
Palestinian apologists ignore the way Palestinian militants terrorize their fellow Palestinians. Cowering behind civilians and civilized norms, Palestinian thugs recruit teenagers to keep prosecuting their uncompromising war against Israel’s existence by killing civilians -with 28 Israeli victims in 2023 alone.Read more here





Shira Rubin: Akram Rajoub, Jenin’s governor… gathered his team of 60 Palestinian Authority security commanders, and told them: “Do not engage with the Israeli armed forces.” The Jenin camp has descended into lawlessness over the past several years – ruled by drug dealers and gun runners, and, more recently, by Palestinian militias that have taken up arms against Israel…  Rajoub lives in Ramallah, 60 miles from the city he is in charge of running.
The Israeli operation in Jenin exposed the weakness of the PA… President Biden told CNN on July 9 that the Palestinian Authority has “lost its credibility,” creating “a vacuum for extremism among Palestinians.” With the PA unwilling to confront militants in its midst, Israeli military incursions have become more frequent. Read more here