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Israel Update 31.8.23

 I am unlikely to circulate an Update next week – hopefully back on 14 Sept.  HRG






One IDF soldier was murdered and two others, as well as three civilians, were injured in a Palestinian truck ramming at a checkpoint on Route 443, a major Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, this morning. The Palestinian terrorist, then drove 10 km. to a second checkpoint, where he was shot and killed.Read more here



An IDF officer and 3 other soldiers were wounded in Nablus Wednesday night as they walked past a large explosive device when it was set off. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The soldiers had been  operating there to secure the entry of Jewish worshippers to the Joseph’s Tomb shrine. Read more here



A Palestinian attacker who stabbed an Israeli man at a Jerusalem light rail station on Wednesday evening, was killed by a Border Police officer. Read more here



August 2023 has been a deadly month of terror attacks in Israel, and between August 5 to August 31, five people have been killed and many more injured…Thirty six people have been murdered in terrorist attacks in Israel so far this year, making it one of the deadliest years since the Second Intifada. Read more here and here





The UK submitted a 43-page “amicus brief” to the ICJ last month as part of the ICJ’s fact-finding stage before an expected advisory opinion from the court on the “legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel” in the territories.
The UK opposes the hearing of the case in the ICJ altogether. The UK, along with Israel and Western states such as the U.S. and Germany, voted against it on the grounds it would push the parties away from negotiations.
The UK opinion submitted to the ICJ rests on four main arguments:

1. An advisory opinion would effectively settle Israel’s “bilateral dispute” without the state’s consent.

2.The court is not equipped to examine a “broad range of complex factual issues concerning the entire history of the parties’ dispute.”

3.An advisory opinion would conflict with existing agreements between the parties and negotiation frameworks endorsed by the UN.

4.The request is not appropriate as it asks the court to “assume unlawful conduct on the part of Israel.”  Full article here





The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a Palestinian man cannot sue Israel’s former Defence Minister Benny Gantz and former Air Force Commander Amir Eshel over their roles in a deadly 2014 Gaza airstrike because they have “functional immunity,” since they were carrying out Israeli government policies. Read more here






The Israel Security Agency reported that four Arab Israelis were arrested for smuggling arms from elements connected to Hizbullah. They were found with high-quality ammunition and explosive devices made in Iran. Read more here



Two Gazans were detained by IDF soldiers while attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza on Friday. Troops later found two fragmentation hand grenades nearby. Read more here



IDF soldiers searching a Palestinian nursery school in a village near Hebron found guns, dozens of bullets, and a grenade… “The weapon was not even secured, but was simply under the mattress – any crawling baby could have reached it.” Read more here







Israel’s Defence Minister met the UN Secretary-General this week reportedly telling him: “The potential for a violent escalation on Israel’s northern border is growing as a result of flagrant violations by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah… The UN must act immediately.” UN resolutions were supposed to prevent Hezbollah from increasing its arsenal, but since 2006 Hezbollah has expanded its illegal missile stockpiles from several thousand to more than 150,000 today, transforming the region into an armed camp and forcing civilians to live next to its dangerous weapons stockpiles, while the UN passively looked on. Read more here



Hizbullah has been striving to recruit individuals from Israel’s Arab population for over two decades and has achieved some success.  The recent infiltration of Israel with at least two large Iranian-made explosive Claymore mines is deeply concerning. Security officials believe that Hizbullah is capitalizing on the escalating demand for weapons and explosive devices among Arab criminal factions engaged in internal conflicts. Read more here







One year from now, Israel will be the first country to have partial laser protection according to the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems chairman adding that “In two years there may be complete protection – against missiles, shells, rockets, or anything else. This will protect us both in the south and in the north”. Read more here



The U.S. Marine Corps has posted plans to acquire three Iron Dome anti-missile batteries including 44 launchers and 1,840 Tamir interceptors.  Iron Dome’s manufacturer, Israel’s Rafael, has a partnership with Raytheon to offer the system in the U.S. Read more here






Based in Wadi Ara, Hasoub (Arabic for computer) is a multi-pronged programme to develop the high-tech sector in Israel’s Arab community, with input from members of the broader Israeli innovation world, investors and the government …Hasoub is not the sole Israeli project aimed at bolstering the Arab community in the high-tech world. In predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, Israel has established another innovation hub, with the mission of bolstering employment.  Read more here









Papua New Guinea is set to open its embassy in Jerusalem next week during a visit to Israel by Prime Minister James Marape. On Friday Sierra Leone said that it would open an embassy in Jerusalem. Paraguay has also announced that it would reopen its embassy in the Israeli capital. Read more here




A world-first operation took place at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre involving the use of augmented reality (AR) robotic technology in a minimally invasive procedure to repair a complex spine fracture. A 25 year-old patient with a severely broken back after a fall from height was on his feet and walking without assistance less than a day after the procedure. Read more here



IDF intelligence alumni have collaborated with senior health experts to tackle the limited availability of echocardiogram tests. They have developed a device which allows bedside testing and provides immediate results Read more here





Israeli green energy firm Brenmiller has received approval to provide Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon with electric process heat, effectively replacing the current natural gas-fuelled steam boilers. This transition is projected to significantly reduce the hospital’s local carbon emissions by 3,900 tons annually. Read more here





Israel’s natural gas revenues from its three offshore gas fields totalled $270 million in the first half of 2023, up 23% from the same period in 2022, the Ministry of Energy reported on Tuesday. Half of the gas was directed to the domestic economy and half to exports to Egypt and Jordan. Read more here






An amazing week for Israeli sportswomen and sportsmen including these achievements:


Israel won its first-ever group all-around gold medal in a World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships event, beating China & Spain and qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Team Israel also won first place in the combined exercise final using balls and ribbons, and Daria Atmanov won a bronze medal for her individual performance.  5 min video here



Israeli runner, Ethiopian-born Marhu Teferi took silver in the men’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships claiming the country’s best placement ever at the major event and cementing himself as a medal contender in next year’s Paris Olympics. See him finish at 1 minute into this video



An Israeli karate delegation took home six gold, one silver and four bronze medals from the SKIF Shotokan Karate World Games.

Read more here



Former Brazilian football superstar Ronaldinho will travel to Israel next week for two friendly matches as part of the FC Barcelona legends’ team.  The squad consisting of Barcelona’s legendary players will play against past members of Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on September 5, before taking on Maccabi Haifa legends at the Sami Ofer Stadium two days later. Read more here



How to watch the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships to be held at the Wingate Institute, near Netanya 4-9 September.Info here



Iranian weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei, has been given a lifetime ban by authorities in the Islamic Republic after shaking hands with an Israeli competitor on the podium at a World Masters championship in Poland. Read more here







Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a 300 metre long (984-foot) stretch of an ancient aqueduct that served Jerusalem, built during the late Second Temple period, the longest expanse of the Upper-Level Aqueduct found by archaeologists. Read more here







American band Imagine Dragons flew in direct from the UK’s Reading Festival to enthrall a huge crowd of over 62,00 fans showed the love to a crowd of more than 62,000 adoring fans at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on Tuesday.Read more here







DAVID G. GREENFIELD: New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently visited Israel. Aside from meetings with politicians, he and his delegation held important meetings related to future investments in Israel, learning about innovative Israeli technology, and promoting trade with New York and the U.S…A highlight of our trip was a luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel, Tel Aviv where all the ingredients in the seven-course meal were from Israeli food tech companies, featuring sustainable fruits and vegetables and vegan options like kosher prosciutto…Adams’ visit was about far more than diplomacy or even fighting antisemitism; it was about actively boosting Israel during a time of critical need.Read more here







The interview was recorded in July when the actress was in Israel for the premiere of her new film in which she stars as Golda Meir. “I believe in Israel, in the existence of Israel, and I believe Israel has to go forward into the future, for the rest of eternity,”…Read more here