Israel Update: 23 November 2017

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In unprecedented footage, the IDF allowed an Israeli TV crew to film it opening the border gates to Syria, and allowing in a group of mothers and their children, who were then transported to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment. Israel, which also maintains a field hospital on the border and has sent humanitarian aid to Syria, has treated 3,000 Syrians since it began offering medical assistance in the course of the civil war across the border, of whom almost 1,000 were children with chronic conditions. Several Syrian mothers were interviewed and expressed profound appreciation to Israel for the medical assistance. “I wish we could stay here for good,” said another of the interviewees. If the border to Israel was open, “I’d be the first to cross,” she said, adding  “All of Syria would follow me… All the civilians left in Syria would come.”


Three Syrian rebels wounded last week in a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime are being treated in Israel. Helicopters belonging to the Assad regime threw explosive drums containing toxic gases believed to be chlorine on a rebel position


For the second time in two days, an IDF tank on Sunday fired a warning shot at Syrian forces operating in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The IDF said the warning shot came because Syrian forces were constructing a fortified position in the demilitarized zone that runs along the border, in violation of the 1974 truce agreement between Israel and Syria which “prohibits the entry of heavy construction tools or military vehicles into the demilitarized zone,



An attempt to smuggle tons of explosive material into Gaza was thwarted by Israel thanks to an advanced chemistry laboratory set up in recent weeks at Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing. Advanced technology permits experts to precisely identify gases, liquids, powders, metals and other substances before they enter Gaza. A truck transporting motor oil was found to actually be carrying a dangerous substance destined to assist in the production of large quantities of explosive material by terror groups in Gaza. Israel said it foiled 1,226 smuggling attempts through the Kerem Shalom crossing in 2016, an increase of 165% from the previous year.

(NOTE: the author of this article is Eytan Halon whose parents & older siblings were members of KS&DS some years ago)


At the end of 2016, a new branch of St John’s Eye Hospital was opened in Hamas-controlled Gaza and, corneal transplant surgeries are now being performed in the  Gaza strip by Palestinian doctors who have undergone training in Israel…. Since the beginning of 2017, approximately 60 corneal transplant surgeries have been performed by doctors in Gaza. Israel regularly offers its medical services, know-how and expertise to Palestinian medical services and patients, in many cases free of charge



A Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into two people, seriously injuring one of them last Friday. The first victim, a 70-year-old man, sustained a light head wound. . The second victim, 35, was seriously wounded with a brain injury.  The driver then got out of his car with a knife and tried to stab soldiers who responded by firing at him.




Hodaya Asulin was 14 when a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded at a bus stop in Jerusalem in 2011. Since then, she has been unconscious, receiving round-the-clock care from family, friends and volunteers. She died on Wednesday. The terror bombing killed British national Mary Jean Gardner and injured dozens of passersby.



US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to certify last Friday that the Palestinians are complying with a 2015 Congressional mandate, which induces penalties if the Palestinian Authority pursues the prosecution of Israelis at the International Criminal Court. The specific penalization, according to a provision in a US law passed in December 2015, is the closure of the PLO’s mission to the US, located in Washington, DC.

The Palestinians have frozen all contacts with the United States after it decided to close their representative office in Washington, officials said on Tuesday. Over the weekend the US State Department stated that the PLO office in DC would be closed because the Palestinians had violated a 2015 US Congressional mandate.




About half the employed Arab residents of east Jerusalem, some 35,000 people, work in the Jewish sector, according to a new study by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. Arabs comprise 71% of workers in the construction sector, 57% in public transportation, 40% in the hotel and restaurant industries, and 20% in municipal health care and welfare. The study shows a complex picture of formal and informal ties between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem workplaces, both in periods of quiet and during waves of terrorist attacks


In 2007, there were 300 Israeli Arab engineers working in hi-tech. Today, there are 5,000 Arab computer programmers and software engineers employed across Israel.




The European Parliament has endorsed a proposal of its president to systematically deny access to all persons, groups, or entities involved in terrorist acts. The decision followed a complaint by several MEPs after Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled, a member of the  PFLP was invited in September to speak in the European Parliament. Khaled was involved in the hijacking of an American airplane in 1969 and a failed hijacking attempt on an El Al flight the following year.



Representatives from 12 NATO countries visited Israel recently for the first-of-its-kind conference on urban warfare and combat in populated areas, a field in which Israel has amassed significant experience.” During the conference, analysts, policy planners and military attaches from the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the U.K., Hungary and other states shared their experiences.




Israel has made disproportionately large contributions to the fight against cancer. A breakthrough in the 1980s by Israeli scientist Eli Canaani was critical to the development of Gleevec, a drug that has saved the lives of millions diagnosed with leukemia. Velcade, a drug used to treat bone marrow cancer, was based on the research of Israeli professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, and their collaborator Irwin Rose. 
Israeli scientists discovered the role that mutations in the p53 gene play in causing cancerous tumors, and how a minor mutation in the RAD51 gene increases the risk of breast cancer in women with the BRCA2 gene mutation. Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Centre contributed to the platform science that resulted in the development of Doxil, the first drug encapsulated in a microscopic fat bubble for direct delivery to a tumor site.




In 2017, a record 2,700 women were recruited into the IDF’s four mixed-gender battalions and to the Home Front Command’s Rescue Division, up from 600 in 2012.,7340,L-5043945,00.html


All Israelis are drafted into the military at age 18, with a few exceptions. Religiously observant Israeli women, traditionally have opted to enroll in national service, volunteering in schools or the community for a year or two, instead of the military. But since 2010, the number of religious women who want to serve has jumped from 935 in 2010 to 2,499 in 2016.




The UN is to announce that Israel will head efforts to assist agriculture worldwide through the analysis of satellite images derived from its Venus vegetation and environment monitoring microsatellite, launched into space in July




Kuwaiti columnist Abdullah Al-Hadlaq told Alrai TV on Sunday, “… Israel is an independent and sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it.” The countries that don’t recognize Israel are “the countries of tyranny and oppression.” “When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called ‘Palestine’,” he said. “There is no occupation. There is a  people returning to its promised land. “The Land of Israel was promised to the Jews by Allah, he said.


Former Saudi Justice Minister Muhammad Bin abdel-Kareem Aleissa said Tuesday, “Any act of violence or terrorism that tries to hide behind religion has no justification whatsoever, not even in Israel,” the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported. Aleissa was appointed last year as the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, and is reportedly close to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman




The 70th Anniversary of the “Partitiion Plan” 29.11.47

Dore Gold: It is often incorrectly asserted that the United Nations created the State of Israel by means of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, what is also known as the Partition Plan, which was adopted on November 29, 1947, 70 years ago. UN Resolution 181 called explicitly for an independent Jewish state alongside of an Arab state and provided international legitimacy for the Jewish claim to statehood. It was a morally significant action, but like all UN General Assembly resolutions, it was not legally binding.

What established Israel was not the action of the UN. What actually established Israel was the Declaration of Independence by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, on May 15,1948.

When Arab armies converged on the nascent State of Israel, put Jerusalem under siege, and bombarded the Old City with artillery, the UN did nothing. As Ben-Gurion told the Israeli Knesset in December 1949, “The UN didn’t lift a finger.”

Ben-Gurion declared, “We cannot regard the decision of the 29th of November 1947 as being possessed of any further moral force since the UN did not succeed in implementing its own decisions.”