During these difficult times in Israel, a reminder that domestic politics are outside and beyond the scope of this Update. HRG
Three Palestinian gunmen, members of the Hamas terror group, were killed by Israeli forces while attempting to attack a small Samaritan community in the Mount Gerizim area, near Nablus on Tuesday.
An Israeli man, Or Sayer, 25, was stabbed last Thursday in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo and brought to a Jerusalem hospital with a knife still embedded in his back. Three Palestinian teens aged 17-19 from Bethlehem have been detained.
The IDF thwarted an car-ramming attempt targeting IDF troops near Nablus last Friday. The driver was killed and the second Palestinian in the car was wounded and detained.
A stabbing attack at a West Bank crossing was thwarted on Sunday and the assailant taken into custody.
In the first six months of 2023, Israel’s emergency services recorded 3,640 acts of terror including 101 shootings at Israelis, 2,118 rock-throwing attacks, 799 firebomb attacks, 18 attempted stabbings and six car-rammings. These figures do not include hundreds of attacks on Israeli security personnel during counterterrorism operations.
Palestinian attacks have killed 28 people and wounded 362 others since January.
As well as threatening Israel, Iran has framed the Khoramshahr liquid-fuel ballistic missile, named Kheibar. as a direct threat to NATO and Europe, including the operational Aegis Ashore missile defence sites in Romania and Poland, which were commissioned to defend against Iran’s ballistic missile threat. Read more here
Last month, during a visit to Iran, the secretary-general of Palestinian Islamic Jihad said: “The rockets, the anti-tank weapons and the explosive charges are made locally. A significant portion of the knowledge was provided by our brothers in the Islamic Republic (Iran) which had considerable impact. … rockets which are fired … especially at Tel Aviv and all of Israel’s major cities, [utilize] expertise that (we) learned from the Islamic Republic, in addition to the knowhow about mortars, explosive charges, etc….That is what made the difference. Read more here
Reportedy, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has increased salaries for its fighters in Syria by 13%. The budgets for the regime’s other terror arms have also increased by double digits this year. As the U.S. has suspended enforcement of most Iran sanctions in a bid to have them rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s foreign currency reserves have skyrocketed from their $4 billion low in 2020 to $43 billion in 2023, enabling them to increase funding for their efforts to destabilize the region.
Even without formal sanctions relief, Iran is able to enjoy most of the economic benefits it would have received in that deal without giving up or even pausing its nuclear enrichment activities.Read more here
15 New York Army National Guard engineers got hands-on training from four members of Israel’s Home Front Command on Israeli techniques for locating and rescuing people from destroyed buildings during three days of training last month. Israel’s Home Front Command are the acknowledged experts in the art and science of saving people from destroyed buildings, said Maj. Kevin O’Reilly Jr., executive officer of the Guard’s 204th Engineer Battalion.Read more here
A delegation of 200 African-American Christian women met on Tuesday with leaders of the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus in Jerusalem, seeking to strengthen the ties of friendship with the Jewish people. “We are fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King to bring African Americans to Israel,” said Cathelean Steele, national project coordinator at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil-rights organization co-founded by King. “Our job is to bring us back together because of the history we share.” Read more here
the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, tweeted on July 14 his support for conditioning the release of EU funds on the removal of incitement and antisemitism from PA textbooks. “Incitement to hatred and violence and glorification of terror violate EU core values. It is a poison for our society, in particular in classrooms and textbooks. There can be no justification to turn a blind eye, neither in Europe nor beyond.”
“The Commission has an obligation to protect the integrity of the EU budget, and act if European taxpayers’ money is used to call into question our fundamental principles.” Read more here
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, is planning a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art sound and light show, funded in part by the EU, as part of a family-oriented educational centre to tell the story of Jewish communities lost in the Holocaust. The project is taking place at the Holocaust Memorial’s “Valley of the Communities,” a massive monument with the names of over 5,000 Jewish communities engraved on its walls. Read more here
A comparison of polling in eastern Jerusalem in 2010 and 2022 by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research reveals a significant shift in views, increasing satisfaction with Israeli services, growing support for Israeli sovereignty, and a desire for a united Jerusalem. Arab Jerusalemites are satisfied or very satisfied with health services (83%), water (82%), electricity (75%), and the ease with which they can reach the al-Aqsa Mosque & the Church of the Holy Sepulcre (74%) in the Old City. Read more here
Israel has launched a plan to promote green energy in Arab cities, towns and villages throughout the country. The plan will finance energy efficiency and renewable energy production projects, such as the replacement of old, inefficient lighting and air conditioning systems, and the implementation of solar projects in public buildings.Read more here
Israel’s fourth solar energy farm at Ashalim in the Negev Desert has started operating and will supply power at a record low price in the electricity market. Read more here
Recently, the head of Egyptian intelligence pressed Israel to approve an increase in gas exports for conveyance through Egyptian liquefaction facilities to Europe and for Egypt’s domestic economy. Israel has to achieve a balance between its own energy security, and strengthening Israel’s regional status through gas exports, in particular vis-a-vis Egypt. Once reliant on coal-burning power plants, Israel now generates 70% of its electricity from gas. Read more here Read more here (paywall)
The Hungarian armed forces will replace its Soviet radars this year with EL-2084 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars manufactured by Israel’s ELTA Systems Ltd. Read more here
A knee implant that regenerates cartilage and bone made by an Israeli startup Cartiheal, has just been used for the first time in the US. Read more here
Israel’s rhythmic gymnastics team won a silver medal on Saturday night at the Milan stop of the 2023 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series. The score was equal to that of gold-winner Italy, but the latter was given the top spot for scoring higher on performance.
Embedded 3 min (mesmerising) video here
Avi Meyer, (Editor of the Jerusalem Post) met an Arab taxi driver who is also a volunteer for United Hatzalah, an emergency medical organisation.…driving through Jerusalem, he is often among the first to come across car crashes and other accidents and was frustrated by his inability to help the victims. So three years ago, he joined Hatzalah, and between the emergency calls he answers in his taxi and those to which he responds as an ambulance driver, he sometimes finds himself at dozens of medical incidents a day…He told me about an incident last week in which a call came in about a Palestinian infant who was experiencing cardiac arrest in Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood in eastern Jerusalem that often experiences friction between residents and Israeli security forces. He rushed to the scene to find that another crew was already treating the child – a group of volunteers from the right-wing Jewish enclave in the neighbourhood. Read more here
Salman Zarka: As the first Druze to lead an Israeli hospital,( Safed’s Ziv Medical Centre) I carry the honour of my village, my people, the IDF, and my beloved nation of Israel… During my tenure as a military physician, I had the privilege of constructing and commanding an IDF military field hospital on the Israeli-Syrian border and extending a humanitarian hand to those Syrians who were evacuated to Ziv Medical Centre. Earlier, Ziv’s staff had been treating the Lebanese people until 2000, when the borders with Lebanon were closed… Our population – a wonderful mosaic of religions and traditions, including Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouin, and Circassians – deserves healthcare service equal to that received by those with access to prestigious medical institutions elsewhere.Read more here
Khaled Abu Toameh: Nearly three decades after its establishment, the Palestinian Authority and its institutions continue unchecked in their corruption and human rights violations. Many Palestinians believe that weak compliance with the rule of law, absence of the parliament, failure to hold corrupt senior officials accountable, and weak civil society organizations have all contributed to the spread of corruption.
Many Palestinians observed that the only thing the “peace process” brought about was a process of avaricious PLO leaders and their entourage diverting international aid and making huge profits out of the Oslo Accords. The conspicuous wealth of Mahmoud Abbas’ sons, Tarek and Yasser, have been very controversial in Palestinian society.
Western donors’ failure, or refusal to hold the P.A. accountable for their outlandish abuse of funds was one of the main reasons most Palestinians lost faith in the Oslo Accords. Read more here
Andrea Levin writes a damning critique of recent coverage by the Wall Street Journal: Read here