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Israel Update 21.9.23




UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly appears in a new government social media video released by the Foreign Office, stressing: “The UK understands the threat posed by Iran… Israel’s security is our security…adding “A strong Israel is vital to the security of the region, which is in everybody’s interests.” Read more here




Israel and the UK have signed a memorandum of understanding for “faster and deeper collaboration” on science, innovation and technology. The agreement commits the parties to a total of £1.7 million in support to research focused on technologies critical to our future prosperity and quality of life. The funding includes £1.1 million earmarked for the UK-Israel Innovation Mobility Scheme, supporting UK-based researchers to travel to Israel and work jointly with Israeli partners at top Israeli institutions. Read more here







A Palestinian man ran towards Israeli security forces holding a knife at a Jerusalem checkpoint on Monday and was shot by a Border Police officer.Read more here



A Gaza resident in his 60s was arrested on Thursday  after he attempted to enter the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station with two knives in his possession. Read more here








Hundreds of Gazans rioted on the border with Israel on Sunday after similar rioting on Friday, burning tyres and detonating explosives on the security barrier. Hundreds rioted again on Monday. Crossings from Gaza to Israel remained closed to Palestinian workers on Thursday amid ongoing riots and attacks along the security barrier. The previous Wednesday, six rioters were killed near the border by their own bomb.  There were weekly riots at the border from March 2018 to the end of 2019. Read more hereRead more hereRead more here



Qatar has informed Hamas that it will not be renewing its monthly aid package of $30 million. Palestinian sources said the decision was driven by anger at Hamas’ recent overtures to Syria and its increasing involvement in violent escalations in Gaza. Since 2014, Qatar has invested over a billion dollars in the leadership of Hamas and in the rehabilitation of Gaza.Read more here








The IDF has begun to deploy its new Merkava V “Barak” tank, with significantly enhanced survivability and defensive capabilities. It will include the Windbreaker anti-tank missile protection system, and will have the ability to detect and engage anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) even before they are fired… One of the tank’s features is the high-tech helmet developed by Elbit Systems, dubbed IronVision. Similar to a jet pilot’s helmet, IronVision provides the tank commander with a 360-degree view of the battlefield. Read more here




In response to the perception of the growing threat from Russia, in July 2022 Germany announced the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) to create a European air and missile defence system. 19 European nations have joined the initiative. The three-layer system will be based on the German-made Iris T short-range system, the mid-range U.S.-supplied Patriot system, and the Israel-supplied Arrow 3 system providing the upper layer. Read more here




Researchers in Israel are using bacteria to detect landmines by developing tiny pellet-sized biosensors based on E. coli. The biosensors are dispersed over the target area, where they sniff out the buried explosives and become luminescent. A drone then photographs them and reveals the location of any landmine.Read more here








Veteran Israeli medical device entrepreneur Aaron Feldman and Dr Abraham Yaari have co-founded FetalEase, a startup that has developed Yaari Extractor, a unique device for resolving shoulder dystocia delivery, a dangerous complication occurring in at least 1.5 million births annually worldwide which is increasing as birthweights rise. Read more here




A new study has found that an Israeli-developed vibrating armband, the Nerivio migraine bioband, developed by Netanya-based Theranica can reduce the number of chronic migraines a person experiences per month.Read more here





Israeli startup CatAI, which has developed a smartphone-based health app to monitor patients’ medical conditions at home, was named the winner of a healthcare competition to help US hospitals cut costs. Read more here







Following the recent devastating earthquake, while Morocco did not formally accept official Israeli offers of aid, several Israeli groups have sent teams providing medical help and essential supplies including IsraAID,  NATAN International Humanitarian Aid, SmartAID, United Hatzalah & Rescue Without Borders.Read more here



Within 24 hours of the Sept. 8 earthquake, an Israeli United Hatzalah delegation was on the ground, involved in search and rescue operations. Now treating victims,  the delegation has been travelling around rural Morocco, setting up a field clinic in small communities. Read more here







Israel’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1% in August 2023, down from 3.4% in July, the lowest since the current method of measuring unemployment was introduced in 2012.Read more here








Air Haifa, a new airline set to launch next year, is expected to bring down the cost of short-haul flights for residents of northern Israel. The airline’s destinations will include Eilat, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Read more hereRead more here





Rooms at over 200 hotels around Israel are available at a 20% markdown for Israeli citizens on all overnight stays, in an offer by the Israel Hotel Association running from noon Tuesday until noon Friday. (Warning: the IHA site was not currently accessible but it may be possible to book direct with the hotels) Read more here









Israel’s national tennis team has scored a surprise win against Japan in the prestigious Davis Cup, advancing to playoffs that could see it reach the tournament’s final 16.Read more here





Footvolley is a popular sport on Tel Aviv’s beaches. It arrived in Israel in 2003 when two Brazilians taught a group of Israeli soccer enthusiasts the rules at Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach. The game is played across a beach net with two players on each side. Teams are permitted to pass the ball to each other using anything but their hands up to three times before sending it over the net. Read more here










The first Israeli team to compete at the Invictus Games having won 14 medals including three golds in table tennis. The Israeli athletes said they came away with great memories of meeting fellow military veterans from around the world, including Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Read more here









Ed Husain: The Abraham Accords, signed on September 15, 2020, have changed the lives of millions. The Accords helped establish direct flights between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE, some above Saudi airspace. In the airport lounges of Dubai, I watch ordinary Iranians and Israelis talking about their families and businesses. Trade volumes are increasing annually between Arab nations and Israel from $590 million in 2019 to $3.4 billion in 2022. Read more here




Richard Goldberg and David May: Instead of throwing good money after bad, U.S. lawmakers should put an end to UNRWA’s safe havens for terrorism, whether in Lebanon, Gaza or the West Bank.
The Palestinians are the only people for whom the UN operates a separate refugee agency. This agency has a uniquely expansive definition of who constitutes a refugee, allowing the status to be passed automatically to male descendants of actual refugees. Patrilineal-inherited refugee status has led UNRWA’s refugee numbers to swell from 750,000 to 5.9 million…UNRWA…promotes a fictitious Palestinian right to live in Israel, which would force the Jewish state to cease to be Jewish. Yet by perpetuating the Palestinian refugee debacle, UNRWA’s approach only increases Palestinian suffering.
One day, the UN will need to dissolve UNRWA, turning over its responsibilities to host governments and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Until that day comes, Congress should prevent taxpayer dollars provided to UNRWA from facilitating terror, hatred and human rights abuses. Read more here




Bassam Tawil: According to some reports, nearly 40,000 Palestinians have fled the Gaza Strip since 2018…By ignoring the plight of the Palestinians fleeing the brutal regime of the Islamists in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations and foreign media are doing a great disservice to the same Palestinians they claim to care about.

As Palestinian leaders continue to suppress the people of the Gaza Strip, Israel has increased the number of work permits for Gazans. In July, at least 67,769 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were allowed to cross the Israeli-controlled Erez border crossing — up to 90% of them for jobs that pay well in Israel. Six per cent of the exits were for patients needing medical treatment in Israel or the West Bank.

It seems that Israel is doing more to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip than the Palestinian Authority, Hamas or any Arab country. Read more here