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Israel Update: 14 March 2018

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Papua New Guinea

Following a devastating earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea’s highlands region on Feb. 26, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Agency for International Development Cooperation delivered 40 generators to affected communities on March 8.With 150,000 people in desperate need of emergency supplies, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid.


From increasing tomato yields in Tamil Nadu to helping farmers grow crops in the deserts of Rajasthan, the Indo-Israel Agriculture Project over the last decade has been a fruitful one. Israel recently inaugurated its 23rd agricultural centre of excellence in India. 22 other centres have been set up in 16 states since 2006 and have helped transfer Israeli agricultural technologies and knowledge to Indian farmers.


South Sudan

An Israeli Foreign Ministry delegation headed by their Ambassador to South Sudan recently distributed 20 tons of food to refugees affected by the civil war there. It was announced that Israel will receive 60 students from South Sudan for agricultural training in the coming year, up from 20 students this year.,7340,L-5151331,00.html


A pregnant Syrian woman who was recently given the choice of dying or having her unborn son die decided to try saving both. The woman – facing almost certain death from a high-risk pregnancy – entered Israel and was treated at Rambam Medical Centre where working with colleagues in the  vascular surgery and transplantation department,doctors successfully performed a procedure that would have been almost impossible to carry out in Syria. She returned home with her baby son last week..


Wisconsin, a US state whose name evokes flowing rivers and abundant lakes, has an endemic water problem of nutrient pollution and is turning to Israeli startups to solve it. Nutrient pollution is caused by agriculture, storm water, wastewater and fossil fuels, and is creating an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus in Wisconsin ’s water supplies, harming the economic viability of its freshwater lakes and drinking water.



Ten days after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) arrived at the community to guide teachers and community leaders through a “day after” strategy for helping people face the future with resilience.



Since 2016, doctors and nursing staff from Tel Aviv & Berlin have travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for one week each year, to help perform heart surgery. The long-term objective is for the local doctors to run the pediatric cardiology clinic on their own.The mission was initiated by the Israeli organization “Save a Child’s Heart,” which works to improve medical care for children with heart defects in many countries.



Sam Gyimah the UK’s Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Development said. “Collaboration with Israel is something we want to build on as a strategic priority.” Medicine is one (area) “But I’m particularly focused on innovation. One thing Israel is really good at is commercialising new technology, maximising how research ideas are exported. Those are areas where I see us working together.”



Israel’s Foreign Ministry has announced that for the first time Israel will broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup via satellite free of charge to Arab nations in the Middle East complete with pre-game discussion and live commentary in Arabic. Though Egypt qualified for the soccer tournament, along with Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, it did not purchase the rights to broadcast the games. Previously, viewers had to purchase a subscription to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network to watch the games. However, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE

have since cut ties with Qatar and banned Al-Jazeera.


60 Gazans attempted to infiltrate into Israel in 2017, 10 of whom were planning to carry out armed attacks. Eight such instances have been reported so far in 2018.


The IDF arrested a Gazan on Sunday who crossed the border fence into Israel carrying a grenade and a knife. An unarmed Gazan was also apprehended after crossing the border in a different sector.

A shipment of IDF uniforms headed into Gaza was stopped at a border crossing Tuesday. Officials suspect the uniforms were intended to be used in an attack against Israel by Gazan terror groups.


In Washington D.C. Israeli national security officials sat around the same table on Tuesday with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, ( & other nations) discussing the dire humanitarian situation unfolding in the Gaza Strip. Jason Greenblatt, a US administration special representative for international negotiations said: “We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today… This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians.”


Potential electricity, water, sewage, and health projects for Gaza were discussed at the Washington meeting.





An explosive device targeted the convoy of the Palestinian Prime Minister and the PA intelligence chief after they entered Gaza on Tuesday, in what Fatah called an assassination attempt. Three vehicles in the convoy were damaged, their windows blown out.


Palestinian officials contacted Israel’s military liaison in order to coordinate their P.M’s exit from the Gaza Strip following the assassination attempt. Israel offered to provide medical treatment to those injured in the attack and some of the wounded were being treated by doctors at the Israeli side of the Erez crossing.



Two Palestinian teenagers were detained by Border Police guards at the entrance to the Samaria Military Court on Sunday while carrying hidden pipe bombs. This was the sixth such the past few months.





Nearly 5,000 Israeli and American troops have been training together in Israel to defend against missile attacks. Hizbullah now possesses 100,000 rockets capable of striking anywhere in Israel. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have a vast arsenal of rockets, and Iran has developed long-range missiles that can reach Israel




Israel will be represented by Netta Barzilai, with the (quirky) song “Toy”


“PALESTINE LIVE” expose by David Collier

In newly revealed posts from a secret British Facebook group, (Palestine Live) Greta Berlin, the spokesperson of the group involved in the flotilla that attempted to enter Gaza in May 2010, states that the Israeli troops did not open fire until after Ken O’Keefe, a former U.S. marine aboard the Mavi Marmara, seized a gun from one of them. She wrote that O’Keefe “was responsible for some of the deaths on board .

David Collier’s 280-page report details a slew of racist and anti-Israel material posted in the “Palestine Live” forum. Links here:

Part 1:

Part 2 :


Alan Dershowitz: The Arab exodus from Israel in 1948 was the direct result of a genocidal war declared against the newly established Jewish state by all of its Arab neighbours, including the Arabs of Israel. If they had accepted the UN peace plan – two states for two peoples – there would be no Palestinian refugees. Nearly all of the Jews displaced from their Arab homelands could trace their heritage back thousands of years, well before the Muslims and Arabs became the dominant population. It has now been 70 years since this exchange of Jewish and Arab populations occurred. It is time to end the charade of calling the displaced Palestinians “refugees.” Almost none of the five million Arabs who claim the mantle of “Palestinian refugee” was ever actually in Israel. The time is long overdue for the world to stop treating these Palestinians as refugees.

Israel Update: 8 March 2018

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Two soldiers, a border guard and a civilian were lightly injured in a suspected car-ramming attack in Acre on Sunday.  One victim was hit by the car outside the city market. The driver, an Israeli Arab then continued toward a train station and hit the other two victims, before he was shot and stopped by an armed soldier at the scene

Jewish & Arab residents of Acre showed solidarity after the attack.

‘We Jews and Arabs live like brothers here. As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened,’ insist Acre residents, adamant that peaceful coexistence in the city will not be ruined by ‘outsiders.’,7340,L-5146488,00.html




Scotland Yard has been asked to investigate whether the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and two ministers breached terrorism legislation by giving aid money to the Palestinian Authority. A complaint claims aid to the PA has been used to pay terrorists in prison, contravening the Terrorism Act 2000. The allegation follows concerns raised by Kay Wilson, a British citizen attacked and left for dead, while her friend American Kristine Luken was murdered in 2010 by Palestinian terrorists. Wilson alleged that her attackers are now receiving thousands of pounds in payments from the PA while in prison.


The Palestinian Authority increased its payments to terrorists and their families in 2018 by nearly $56 million, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Chairman Avi Dichter said Monday, when a bill to discourage the practice passed a first reading in the Knesset. The PA paid terrorists and their families more than $347 million in 2017



Two Israeli high school teams returned from Qatar last week with a third-place trophy in the World Handball Championship for Schools, held in Doha. Qatar was criticized on social media for allowing the Israelis to participate.


The Israel Jiu-Jitsu Federation concluded its participation Friday in the Abu Dhabi Ju-Jitsu World Championship Juniors and Aspirants 2018 with two gold medals, but the Israeli national anthem was not played, nor was the country’s flag flown in the competition hall.,7340,L-5144646,00.html



Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said on Sunday that his country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May, two days after the U.S. moves its embassy.


Air India confirmed plans for a direct route between Tel Aviv and Delhi Wednesday, with the flight being given permission to fly over Saudi airspace, a first. The ability to fly the route over Saudi Arabia is expected to cut the flight time by nearly two hours, and marks a significant achievement in Israel’s campaign to upgrade its ties with the Gulf.



An Israeli company Cellbrite is now reportedly able to unlock any phone, making it easier for law enforcement agencies to gain access to files.

Artificial intelligence software developed by an Israeli startup has proved in an international study to be quicker and more accurate at analysing legal documents than experienced lawyers. The software developed by LawGeex was able to analyse nondisclosure agreements with more accuracy and speed than 20 experienced lawyers, in a recent collaborative study.


Valerann’s four Israeli cofounders won the 2017 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge of Highways UK. The Israeli technology is based on replacing existing reflective road studs — embedded in every 10 to 15 metres of road in the UK to highlight lanes, bumps and crossings — with wireless plug-and-play “smart studs” containing sensors and antennas that collect and transmit raw data to pole-mounted control units that send the data to the cloud for analytics.


Israeli start-up companies are finding new ideas to change the way we think about, produce, and eat food. Inno-Bev has created a plant-based drink that keeps El Al pilots awake during long flights. SuperMeat is developing lab-made chicken meat. Hargol runs a commercial farm producing grasshoppers as a source of protein. Other companies are developing new solutions to check for food safety. Yarok has invented a microbiological test which checks for bacteria in food in 45 minutes; the tests in use now take up to 72 hours and the results are often inaccurate.


Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has donated $20 million toward a new nuclear medical facility at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan.. The new centre will house a cyclotron, a particle accelerator that can accurately pinpoint and kill cancer cells using radioactive ion beams.


Arab terrorists threw two firebombs at Hadassah Hospital’s Mount Scopus campus in Jerusalem Monday night. he third such attack over the past week. The hospital, serves both Jews and Arabs.


The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Mordechai published a video showing Hamas operatives hooking up illicitly to a Gaza power line Saturday in order to siphon electricity. He wrote: “The Hamas terror group continues stealing from the people of Gaza,” “This power was intended for hospitals and schools, but Hamas is uninterested in the populace and even exploits it. Watch the daylight robbery.” “Only a week ago it was published that Hamas is stealing fuel brought into the strip for the Palestinian public, and selling it on the private market to the highest bidder.”,7340,L-5144944,00.html



A study shows that the percentage of Arab Israeli women succeeding on the bagrut (matriculation) exam surpasses that of Arab Israeli men, and is approaching that of non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women. The ultra-Orthodox, with their stress on non-core curricula, traditionally score lower on the exam than their peers. In addition, there has been an increase in the share of Arab Israeli women pursuing higher education.




There are currently three whiskey distilleries around Israel — Tel Aviv’s Milk & Honey, the Golan Heights Distillery in Katzrin in the Golan Heights, and Pelter, also in the Golan Heights



How Purim was celebrated in Israel last week.,7340,L-5139947,00.html



Amit Deri: During a tour of IDF reserve duty this month, my men and I were attacked by about 400 Palestinian rioters in the Hebron area throwing firebombs, hurling large rocks, using slingshots, and burning tires. They were documented by some 40 foreign press with cameras. They were shouting slogans about Muhammad’s army coming to avenge itself on the Jews, and pranced bravely in front of the photographers, knowing full well that the IDF’s strict regulations prevent us from doing much more than trying to disperse the violent mob by shooting canisters of tear gas.  We did the best we could to keep anyone, Israeli and Palestinian, from getting seriously injured. And then, magic: A short while into the demonstration, the media, getting what it came for, decided to leave. As soon as the last cameraman was gone, the very same Palestinian rioters who were, just a moment earlier, so passionate and furious and violent, tossed aside their gasoline-soaked rags and boulders and cheerfully walked away. They weren’t interested in a real confrontation. They weren’t truly mad. They were putting on a show for the press.

Jose Maria Aznar and Stephen Harper (former Prime Minsters of Spain & Canada respectively): The Israeli military was forced last month to engage an Iranian drone launched into Israeli airspace from Syria. There will be more such incidents if Tehran is permitted to continue projecting force throughout the Middle East. North America and Europe must join Israel in stopping Iran…Iran’s leaders have threatened Israel time and again with total destruction, and now, Iranian power has arrived at Israel’s border….Predictions that the (2015 nuclear agreement) agreement would de-escalate tensions and improve cooperation have proved wrong. Since signing the agreement, Iran’s aggression and hostility have increased…But fixing the agreement and stopping Iran from going nuclear would not eliminate the threat. The U.S. and its allies must also roll back Iran’s aggression and influence throughout the Middle East. If left unchecked, Iran’s aggression will ultimately threaten Europe and North America as well.

Shmuel Rosner:Eliezer  Tauber is an Israeli academic who specializes in the modern history of the Middle East. In the past decade, he dedicated a lot of time to writing a book about the so-called “massacre of Deir Yassin.” The result was a book arguing that there was no massacre in Deir Yassin. A detailed account of a fateful day, minute by minute, hour by hour. A convincing account.. Tauber knows the names of everybody, he knows the time and the place where everybody was fighting, or hiding, or wounded, or killed. But the myth was perpetrated not because of confusion. It was a deliberate attempt by the Palestinian leadership to force the Arab militaries of surrounding countries to intervene in the battle over Palestine. The leaders of the Palestinians sowed a wind and reaped a whirlwind. More than convincing the Arab states to intervene (they eventually did), they convinced their fellow Palestinians to flee.

The Israelly Cool blog analysed conflicting reports of an incident on the Gaza border.


Israel Update: 1 March 2018

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Prince William will travel to Israel this summer in the first-ever official visit by a member of the British Royal Family in the 70 years since Israel’s Independence, during which time nearly every other country in the world has been visited by a representative of the Crown. He will also visit the Palestinian territories and Jordan. The Prince’s great-grandmother Alice of Battenberg (Princess Andrew) is buried at Gethsemane on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.




Israel has increased the number of work permits for West Bank Palestinians by 20,000, bringing the number to 100,000 at a recent ministerial meeting… Israel agreed in the talks to help the Palestinians prepare for an audit by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and meet its criteria for receiving economic aid. The IMF is demanding far-reaching economic reforms and full transparency from the PA as a condition for receiving aid.


Most of Jerusalem’s population don’t remember a divided city. Some 85% of Jerusalem’s Arabs and 75% of its Jews were born into a unified city. This has been translated into a fabric of normal coexistence that is a blend of different lifestyles. Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses work together to serve both populations in the city’s hospitals and health clinics. Arab and Jewish drivers drive the city’s taxis and buses, and the light railway serves both communities. Jews and Arabs mix at Jerusalem’s restaurants, cafes, and shopping malls, both as consumers and employees. A growing number of families in east Jerusalem are currently choosing to send their children to schools where they follow the Israeli curriculum. Seven years ago, a survey of east Jerusalem Arabs found that 35% preferred to live as citizens with equal rights under Israeli sovereignty. In the latest survey, that figure had reached 52%.




When Palestinian rioters in the West Bank inadvertently burned down a local factory while confronting IDF soldiers near Nablus, Israeli firefighters arrived at the scene to help Palestinian Authority responders put out the fire.




Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered molecular biomarkers in the blood for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that is a leading cause of maternal deaths. Their findings form the basis for a simple blood test that would predict preeclampsia.


An Israeli research team at the Weizmann Institute has discovered a way to grow a miniature version of the human brain that undergoes wrinkling in a similar way to a real brain, opening the way for future research into disorders such as microcephaly, epilepsy and schizophrenia.


Scientists at Kaplan Medical Centre, Israel, have reported a breakthrough in successfully detecting prostate cancer cells with high sensitivity using Micromedic Technologies’ (based in Tel Aviv) CellDetect noninvasive diagnostic test, developed over the past two years.



A computer mouse for amputees. Israel-based startup 6Degrees developed an armband that replaces the computer mouse, enabling users with disabilities to control devices through arm movement,7340,L-3733096,00.html




The UN force in Lebanon has accused Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army of hampering their work, including spying on them.  A chief warrant officer for the French contingent said: “In the evening we never leave the barracks because the Lebanese forces are not friendly. However, that is when things happen.”…A Finnish commander noted that “Indonesian peacekeepers are constantly reporting Israeli movements to various Lebanese actors,” and that some of UNIFIL’s civilian employees “do not hide their Hizbullah membership.”


War between Israel and Iranian proxy forces is imminent, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has warned after a recent trip to the Middle East. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of talks with Israeli officials, “When they tell you we want help to deal with the blowback that might come from attacks on civilian targets where Hizbullah has integrated military capability, that was pretty striking.” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said, “The tempo in terms of potential for conflict in Syria has gone up; the technologies Iran is projecting into Syria and southern Lebanon has gone up; Iran’s willingness to be provocative, to push the edges of the envelope, to challenge Israel, has gone up.”



The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence. Initially, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises.




MK Anat Berko, a criminologist, represented Israel at a meeting in Vienna of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was the first time that Israel participated as a full member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism.


Israeli security forces have thwarted a terrorist attack on the Temple Mount. Three Arab-Israelis were indicted on Monday for plotting the attack in the name of Islamic State,


The Israeli Defence Minister said Tuesday that the IDF has been carrying out massive operations in the West Bank to thwart planned terrorist attacks, particularly in and around Hebron. “We are thwarting 20 to 30 terrorist attacks each week, facing ever-increasing terrorist efforts”


Jordan’s security forces uncovered a plot last November whereby and

a terror cell affiliated with Islamic State planned to attack Israeli businessmen, the U.S. embassy in Jordan, and other Western and Jordanian targets in Amman. 17 members of the cell were arrested.




Every week, 33 million flies are scattered from airplanes onto orchards and agricultural farmland surrounding Gaza by Israel’s Agriculture Ministry in order to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly. The sterile male flies mate with female flies infesting the crops, thus preventing the creation of the next generation of fruit flies. The technique is an environmentally friendly and chemical-free pest control method.




Marcus Sheff: The new PA school curriculum is packed with wording, imagery and ideology likely to create prejudices, misconceptions, stereotypes, misunderstandings, mistrust, racial and national hatred, and religious bigotry.. The PA curriculum rejects negotiations with Israel to achieve Palestinian statehood. According to the textbooks, the only solution is victory via resistance and defeating Israel once and for all.


Bret Stephens: A Palestinian state is a terrific idea in principle – assuming that it resembles the United Arab Emirates. But Israelis have no reason to believe that it will look like anything except the way Gaza does today: militant, despotic, desperate and aggressive. Israel’s foreign critics are demanding that it replicate on a large scale what has failed catastrophically on a smaller scale. Any successor to Netanyahu will have to pursue essentially identical policies


Danny Danon (Israel’s Ambassador to the UN): Israelis are an optimistic people. We weathered four bloody wars with Egypt while waiting for a leader of Anwar Sadat’s calibre to come forward and courageously visit Jerusalem. It took decades of talks with Jordan until King Hussein entered into a “peace of the brave” with Israel. We have no doubt that the day will come when the Palestinian people will be blessed with such leadership as well…This will be a leadership that ends the despicable practice of incentivizing murder by paying monthly salaries to terrorists. It will be a leadership that educates its people towards tolerance instead of peddling anti-Semitism. It will need to be a leadership that recognizes that Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people.


Bassam Tawil: Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan last week made it clear that the conflict with Israel is not about Jews living in settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians see all of Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted. All the Jews, they say, are “settlers” who need to “go back to where they came from.” Anyone who follows the news on Palestinian media outlets will see how all Jews, whether they are living in a West Bank settlement or in Tel Aviv, are referred to as “settlers.”It is time to listen carefully to what the Palestinians are saying – in Arabic – to understand that the conflict is not about Jerusalem and not about settlements.


Daniel Kryger: Israel is the Ultimate Anti-Imperialist State

European imperialism in the Middle East was preceded by Islamist imperialism. The Jewish state is the only indigenous fragment that survived the onslaught of Islamic imperialism.



The “Jerusalem Roast” Purim Edition includes several “news” items:

Your Soundtrack for Purim from D.J. Antithesis, aka Kingston’s own Samuel Green, on TLV1, an internet radio station broadcasting from Tel Aviv



Israel Update: 22 February 2018

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Israel helped avert an ISIS-linked terror plot in Australia to bring down a plane last year, both nations have confirmed. Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said, “The Etihad flight was almost blown out of the sky and would have resulted in hundreds of people losing their lives so we are very grateful for the assistance Israel provided in that matter.”


Over the past five years, Israel has treated 4,071 Syrians who sought help from the country they were taught to hate. The IDF continues providing medical assistance to Syrians arriving at the border seeking help, with the focus being on children. ‘Only last year, we treated some 1,000 Syrian children,’ said Northern Command officer; The Ziv Medical Center in Safed is providing hearing aids and glasses to Syrian children.,7340,L-5117904,00.html?utm_source=Taboola_internal&utm_medium=organic

Papua New Guinea

Israeli technology and knowhow has been used to set up dairy farms in China, England, India, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Vietnam and now Papua New Guinea. Before then, residents of the southwestern Pacific island country didn’t have a dairy and could buy only imported dairy products. Israeli Holstein cows are world champions in milk production




United Hatzalah received an award from the Panama Homefront Command on February 5, 2018, honouring the lifesaving aid the Israeli voluntary first-response organization has helped provide to the small Central American country in recent years.




The Israeli firm Oz Agribusiness Projectsmpany is in talks with the Myanmar government to build warehouses to help farmers with post-harvest production in the Mandalay region. Israeli expertise and technology in agriculture are helping Myanmar reform its vast agriculture sector,


Four Israeli soldiers were wounded, two seriously, when a device exploded at the border fence with Gaza on Saturday. The IDF struck six Hamas targets in Gaza in response.


A rocket fired from Gaza hit the roof of a house in an Israeli border community on Saturday night, causing significant damage.


The IDF struck the Gaza Strip early Monday, hours after a rocket was shot into southern Israel as intense cross-border fighting persisted for a third straight day.


It is known from both Israeli and Palestinian estimates that Hamas spends approximately $100 million a year – about 20% of the budget of the government in Gaza – on preparing for and executing attacks against Israel. The New York Times told us this past Sunday, “Five concrete plants have been set up, supplying 20 digging sites, at a cost of nearly $1 billion,” all for the purpose of digging tunnels designed to facilitate the kidnapping and murdering of Jews.




Researchers at Haifa’s Technion have developed a device that replaces the surgeon’s knife with natural biological materials, significantly reducing pain and accelerating tissue restoration.


“Game changing” surgery to regrow part of a legbone using human tissue created in a lab has been undertaken at Emek Medical Center in Afula,


The Israeli-developed WoundClot bandage is a plant-based cellulose gauze that stimulates the body’s coagulation process and can stop bleeding in under a minute.  WoundClot is now sold in 32 countries.


Israeli medical products company Novamed, has developed a device SensAheart which tests a drop of blood for antibodies produced in the event of a heart attack. Existing blood tests can take up to six hours to deliver a result while SensAheart takes only five minutes.


DreaMed Diabetes has developed cloud-based software that uses machine learning to help doctors and healthcare professionals better monitor their patients with type 1 diabetes.Advisor Pro helps doctors craft or modify insulin plans based on 288 daily glucose level readings.



A new poll by the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion found that nearly 60% (of East Jerusalem Palestinians) believe they should participate in municipal elections, while only 14% oppose doing so. Moreover, 97% opposed a redivision of the city along the 1967 lines that would end free access to both sides of the city.




Dr. Arnon Gross read 200 Arabic textbooks to understand what Palestinian students are taught. He found that the school system drills into the heads of students that there is no entity called “Israel.” And if it does exist, it should be called “the Zionist entity” that must be destroyed. He says the books clearly “demonize the Jews and Israel, and encourage the violent struggle to liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.” The area in question here is not just the West Bank but the whole Land of Israel. Gross stresses that from year to year, Palestinian textbooks have not become more moderate – quite the opposite



Recent meetings between Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials have drawn sharp criticism from Palestinian factions and activists, who are accusing the PA leadership of reneging on its pledge to “disengage” from Israel. French President Macron hosted the Israeli Economy Minister and his Palestinian counterpart at a meeting aimed at bolstering economic cooperation between the PA and Israel.




The Ahmadiyya community, a small Islamic sect numbering 20 million people, is a persecuted minority across the Middle East. But near Haifa is Kababir village, home to 2,000 residents, 70% of whom are Ahmadi Muslims. Here, Ahmadis enjoy full religious and cultural freedom and pray in the only Ahmadi mosque in the Middle East, opened in 1934. The safe haven they have found in Israel, as compared to the broader Middle East, mirrors that of the Druze, Bahai, and Christians.




Intel Corp. plans to invest a massive $5 billion to expand its Kiryat Gat chip manufacturing plant by 2020.




Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov chastised Iran on Monday for calling for Israel’s destruction. He said: “We have stated many times that we won’t accept the statements that Israel, as a Zionist state, should be destroyed and wiped off the map. I believe this is an absolutely wrong way to advance one’s own interests,”




The Israeli natural gas exploration group Delek on Monday announced two deals to sell gas to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings over 10 years for $15 billion. The gas will come from Israel’s offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in the Mediterranean




Over 70,000 Hindus held a pro-Israel rally in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, on Feb. 14, one of several organized by the Hindu Samhati.There were calls for India to stand by Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.




Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Israela Oron: According to UNRWA, Palestinian refugees and all their descendants today number over five and a half million. The number of individuals forced to leave their homes during the (1948) War of Independence is estimated at 720,000. Citizenship in another country, for example, Jordan, does not cancel their refugee status…In contrast to figures on UNRWA’s official site, which cite 526,700 registered refugees in Lebanon, newly published figures based on a Lebanese census conducted in cooperation with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimate their number at 175,000…The gap in the figures strengthens the assumption that the numbers on the UNRWA site do not reflect reality – not only in Lebanon, but also in other countries..


An account of Lilia Gaufberg’s visit to Ramallah.

EXTRACT: In Ramallah, I saw gorgeous apartment buildings, schools, and towering mosques contrasted with littered streets… In this landscape of life, one overwhelming element felt out of place: in Ramallah, everywhere you turn, a vehement hatred of Israel and a denial of Jewish history in the land of Israel pulses throughout the city, an overwhelming undercurrent of identity oppression.


Ben Dror Yemini: Why can’t we make peace? Because Palestinian elites have no interest in doing so. Enjoying the good life themselves,

Palestinian leaders have created a misrepresentation of their people as ‘the wretched on earth.’ It’s a recipe for endless conflict.


VIDEO : (US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s remarks at UNSC briefing 20.2.18 (8 min 57 sec.)

EXTRACT: I do not mean to suggest that there is no suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides have suffered greatly. So many innocent Israelis have been killed or injured by suicide bombings, stabbings, and other sickening terrorist attacks. Israel has been forced to live under constant security threats like virtually no other country in the world. It should not have to live that way. And yet, Israel has overcome those burdens. It is a thriving country, with a vibrant economy that contributes much to the world in the name of technology, science, and the arts.

It is the Palestinian people who are suffering more. The Palestinians in Gaza live under Hamas terrorist oppression. I can’t even call it a governing authority, as Hamas provides so little in the way of what one would normally think as government services. The people of Gaza live in truly awful conditions, while their Hamas rulers put their resources into building terror tunnels and rockets.

The Palestinian leadership has a choice to make between two different paths. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people. Or, there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan.”


VIDEO: Israeli figureskater Alexei Bychenko at the Winter Olympics skating to “Hava Nagila” 2 min:52 sec



D.J. Antithesis (aka Samuel Green) introduces your “Soundtrack for Purim” – link to TLV1 podcast:

Israel Update: 7 February 2018

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THE IRANIAN THREAT (and see Comment & Opinion below)

On Feb. 10, Iran launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Syria which violated Israeli sovereign airspace. The Israel Air Force (IAF) intercepted the UAV and destroyed it, then targeted the control vehicle from which the UAV was operated in a Syrian T-4 Airbase. During the attack, multiple surface-to-air missiles were launched at IAF aircraft and hit an F-16 fighter jet. The two pilots were forced to eject and parachuted to safety in Israeli territory. The IDF then targeted 12 military objectives, including 3 air defence batteries and 4 targets that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria.  “What we’ve known for a long time is now clear to everyone: Iran wants to establish a front in Syria that is aimed at harming Israel,” said Israel’s Head of the Northern Command.

The Iranian drone shot down by Israel appears to be a new stealth model whose design was stolen from an American RQ-170 Sentinel UAV captured by Iran in 2011, according to aviation analysts.

P.M. Netanyahu said: “I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression

The navigator of the F-16 downed on Saturday described how he and the injured pilot evacuated the plane, both safely landing in Israeli territory.,7340,L-5108426,00.html

Saturday’s military escalation between Israel and Iran in Syria shows that “Iran is at the helm of what remains of Assad’s military, and has supplanted any semblance of Syrian sovereignty,” said an analyst at the New America Foundation. “The Assad regime’s military suffered a major blow as a result of Iran’s military incursion. The Israeli airforce counterattack destroyed a significant portion of Assad’s long-range SA-5 integrated air defence network outside Damascus.”




Israeli police have recommended criminal charges against PM Netanyahu. Allegations include bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu called the allegations baseless as well as “biased” and “extreme” and vowed to complete his fourth term in office. The next step will be for Israel’s attorney general to decide whether or not to accept the recommendation and issue an indictment, and this process could take several months. The Israeli Democracy Institute has some additional background on the technical legal aspects.

BICOM briefing here:


The IDF Northern Command recently began work on a high concrete wall along the Lebanese border at high-risk spots near Israeli towns and kibbutzim to prevent infiltration by Hizbullah special forces into Israel. The wall is being constructed on Israeli territory exclusively and does not involve Lebanese territory.,7340,L-5098984,00.html


A spokesman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), said Tuesday that the barrier Israel is building along two sections of the border with Lebanon is on the Israeli side of the border between the two countries in areas that are not sensitive.



Israel’s Defence Ministry is proposing a bill to deduct sums paid to Palestinian terrorists from tax monies collected by Israel on behalf of the P.A. The money would be set aside in a special fund for remuneration for victims of terror who were awarded damages in court, financing a project that fights terrorism funding, and improving infrastructure such as roads and lighting, thus boosting security.PA payments to prisoners and families of terrorists are said to be a direct incentive for terrorists, since the average wage among West Bank Palestinians is NIS 2,000, while a terrorist serving a life sentence can receive NIS 10,950 a month,7340,L-5096984,00.html




Shots fired from Syrian territory at an Israeli drone last Thursday hit a house in the Druse village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. VISIT


Recently, the Israel Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation of nine Arab journalists from Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. The Palestinian Authority denounced the visit saying that it was aimed at “promoting normalization” between the Arabs and Israel, and called the visit an “inexcusable and unjustified disgrace.”




“Roughly almost half of (our) healthcare revenue is based on innovation stemming from Israel,” according to the CEO of Performance Materials at Germany’s Merck pharmaceutical and chemicals firm. The Rebif drug helps decrease the frequency of relapse symptoms of multiple sclerosis while the Erbitux drug for patients with cancer of the head and neck is also based on Israeli technology.




A senior Israeli defence official said that the Turkish government has encouraged Hamas’ wide-ranging operations in Turkey. In January a Turk and an Israeli-Arab were arrested by Israel over involvement in a Hamas effort to funnel money for terrorism to the West Bank and Gaza via Turkey




Two IDF soldiers, a man and a woman, were attacked by a Palestinian mob who encircled their military vehicle after they accidentally entered Jenin on Monday. Palestinian police helped rescue them. The female soldier sustained light to moderate wounds in her face and legs from the windshield glass. Images showed her face bleeding. She was evacuated to an Afula hospital.,7340,L-5109032,00.html


The PA’s political opponents and some social media users strongly denounced the P.A.’s security forces for rescuing the IDF soldiers.


Israeli Defence Minister praised the PA security officers who helped rescue the soldiers. Reportedly more than 100 members of the PA security forces in civilian and official attire worked to bring the soldiers to safety. Both the military vehicle and one soldier’s weapon were returned to the Israelis.


According to official Palestinian figures, in 2017 alone over 500 Israelis strayed into Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank; they were all detained safely by PA security forces and returned to Israel unharmed. This is only one facet of Israeli-Palestinian security coordination, which also includes intelligence sharing, counterterrorism, deconfliction during Israeli military raids into PA-controlled areas of the West Bank, and riot control. Israeli and Palestinian officers are in constant contact to discuss common threats in the West Bank



A Palestinian armed with a pipe bomb was arrested at the Samaria Military Courthouse in the West Bank – the fifth arrest since October.


Three Palestinians armed with four pipe bombs were arrested outside the same army courthouse the next day.


Israeli security forces on Friday arrested a Palestinian armed with a knife at the entrance to the Jewish town of Hashmonaim in the West Bank. Earlier Friday, Border Police officers in Hebron arrested a Palestinian man trying to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs armed with a knife.




Israeli start-up Toibot has developed a battery-powered robot that cleans your toilet at the touch of a button. It attaches to any toilet and automatically brushes its entire surface while dispensing capsules that clean, disinfect and polish, keeping the toilet 99.9 percent bacteria free.



Paul McCartney was announced as a winner of the 2018 Wolf Prize on Monday, paving the way for an expected visit by the former Beatle to Israel at the end of May.




Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Eyal Ben-Reuven:Iran has brought into Syria thousands of Shi’ite militiamen whom they wish to turn into a fighting force against the State of Israel. In addition, they plan to install Iranian air and navy military forces alongside Hizbullah troops. Their plan is to surround the State of Israel with proxy forces, including Hamas in Gaza.  Israel has made it absolutely clear that it will not allow Iran and its cohorts to control land that touches Israel’s border. However, diplomatic efforts with the Russians have not borne any fruit.


Israel Facing Growing Danger from Advanced Iranian Weapons Factories in Lebanon: “We have a concrete threat…from the north,” according to an analyst who referred to an Iranian-built factory which  can produce missiles with a range of close to 300 km. with a half-ton warhead. Reportedly another factory is located in southern Lebanon, capable of producing surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles as well as unmanned aerial vehicles able to carry explosives. The IDF has stated that Israel is “determined to prevent Lebanon from becoming one large factory for the production of precision missiles.”


  1. Todd Wood: We’ve predicted for some time that once the fight between pro-Assad Shia elements (Iran/Hizbullah) and Sunni Islamists in the Middle East wound down, Iran and its proxies would turn their attention towards Israel to achieve their longstanding dream of wiping the Jewish state off the map. Israel has been attempting to slow the process by preemptively destroying targets inside Syria which threaten its security. If you’ve looked at a map of the Middle East, it is painfully obvious that Israel really is not defensible from a geographic standpoint. Once military forces with dangerous capabilities are in place along its borders, it’s too late. That is why the “land for peace” narrative is so dangerous, as it really is an agenda to make Israel impossible to protect militarily.


Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp: Iranian leaders have long made clear that they intend to annihilate the Jewish state. According to Israeli intelligence, Iran has 82,000 fighters under its control in Syria and is building a permanent military presence there. This is part of a wider Iranian plan not just to besiege Israel but also to achieve ascendancy over the Sunnis.
For years Israel has warned of the consequences of Tehran’s aggression, but its warnings have been largely ignored by the West and the UN. Britain and the EU could play an effective role in containing Iranian aggression but their answer is appeasement. Instead of sanctioning Iran and supporting Israel, they mouth platitudes about restraint by both sides, which further emboldens Tehran.

Israel Update: 7 February 2018

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Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, 29, a father of four, was standing near a bus stop outside Ariel in the West Bank on Monday when an Israeli-Arab, got out of a van on the other side of the road, crossed the highway, and stabbed Ben-Gal in the chest. The assailant fled the scene in a passing vehicle.

The mother of the man wanted for the fatal stabbing attack said Tuesday that he should give himself up and that “he destroyed himself and everything.”

An Israeli security guard was stabbed in the hand Wednesday morning when a Palestinian assailant attacked him with a knife in the West Bank. A second guard shot and killed the assailant.


Palestinian police rescued an Israeli man on Friday who was almost lynched by a mob of 200 Palestinians after accidentally entering Abu Dis, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem. The mob attacked the Israeli man’s

The mob attacked the Israeli man’s vehicle with stones. Palestinian police extricated the driver, while the mob torched the Israeli’s car. A senior Palestinian police official said, “Palestinian police forces arrived a moment before the angry masses lynched him



The terrorist responsible for the Jan.9 murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, was killed by Israeli security forces early Tuesday in a West Bank village when he emerged from a building with an M-16 rifle.


Abbas’ Fatah honoured the terrorist as a “martyr” and a  “young lion”



In a series of overnight raids Monday, over 20 terrorist spsects were arrested by Israeli security forces.  Three guns including an M-16 rifle were seized along with ammunition, magazines and other illicit materials.

In the third incident within 2 months, security forces arrested a Palestinian man who was caught with what appeared to be a small pipe bomb as he entered a West Bank military court.




Another rocket was fired from Gaza towards Israeli territory last Thursday night. It was unclear as to whether the rocket crossed the border or fell short. In response, the IDF attacked a Hamas observation post.,7340,L-5079717,00.html


Hamas test-fired five missiles near the Gaza coastline on Saturday. According to Israeli military sources, Hamas is conducting almost daily missile tests.


Israeli security forces at the Kerem Shalom crossing recently thwarted an attempt to smuggle bomb-making material into Gaza hidden in boxes containing medical supplies


The Israeli Defence Minister man said Monday, “In 2017, Hamas spent $260 million to manufacture rockets and dig tunnels, $100 million of which came from Iran, and the rest from tax collection and other donations. Hamas invested $260 million in military strength and wouldn’t divert even one shekel toward water, electricity, health or education…They’re willing to sacrifice all the residents of Gaza.”


P.M. Netanyahu has directed his cabinet to look into proposals to construct an artificial island across from the Gaza coast for the delivery of aid. The Minister for Regional Cooperation said:  “Israel is ready to provide its technological skills and infrastructure to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, on the condition that the funds come from the international community and that we know that they will not go to strengthen Hamas. We are waiting to see if the world is ready to donate.” He said the funds given by Qatar to Hamas were all invested in military and terror activities including rockets.,7340,L-5091557,00.html




Most of the 300,000 Arabs of Jerusalem work in Jewish areas of the city Salary gaps with the city’s Jewish population are narrowing, more Arabs are learning Hebrew, and registration at higher education institutions in the western sector is up.


Israel has implemented a new system for scanning cargo containers that will enable 200 containers to cross between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority each day – double the current number. The PA Economy Minister said it “will save exporters and importers a lot of efforts and costs”.





On Jan. 30, 2018, Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts who is thought to be Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s successor, toured Lebanon’s border with Israel, escorted by Hizbullah military commanders an and Iranian officers…  It would appear that this visit by a senior Iranian figure close to Khamenei was meant to convey to Israel that Iran is determined to help Hizbullah strengthen its military capabilities in Lebanon.


US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said:   “Iran spends almost a billion dollars a year sponsoring terrorism in Lebanon, Israel and West Bank/Gaza. This blood money only increases violence and does nothing to help the Palestinian people. The corrupt regime in Tehran squanders the resources of the Iranian people on military adventures throughout the region instead of investing at home and promoting peace abroad.”


Hizbullah recently purchased over 100 acres of land in Druze areas near Lebanon’s Chouf Mountains for the purpose of storing missiles there, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Sunday.Hizbullah believes Israel would be wary of attacking Druze areas



6-year-old Kyra Warrell, of Brighton has undergone specialist surgery in Israel that will allow her to keep her leg. Kyra has proximal focal femoral deficiency, which would leave her left leg about 8 inches shorter than her right if left untreated… British NHS doctors had decided that an above-the-knee amputation, to allow for a prosthetic limb, would be the best option. But Kyra’s parents wanted their daughter, who loves dancing and gymnastics, to be able to keep her leg. They started a crowdfunding campaign to bring Kyra to Israel for the first of three surgeries between now and the time she is 16, to save her leg. The family said that there was an outpouring of offers of help from Israelis, including help with translation, meals, places to stay, and visits to the hospital. A Haifa resident stocked the refrigerator of the apartment where the family is staying for 10 days, and others took them out for meals. (The Israeli-born surgeon,who treats patients from all over the world at his Institute in Florida, operates once a year in Israel at lower cost.)




Israel is sending its largest ever team to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Of the ten athletes, seven will compete in figure skating. A speed skater, an alpine skier and Israel’s first skeleton (bobsleigh) competitor complete the squad.




Ron Ben Yishai: Organised Palestinian terror is back. The murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach on Jan. 9 was a wakeup call for Israeli security agencies. The attack was carried out by a trained and well-funded Hamas terror cell that carefully chose the location of the ambush, escape routes, and hiding places for after the attack. This was no “lone wolf attack.” It is now known that the cell had carried out a number of previous terror attacks.,7340,L-5094029,00.html


Howard Feldman: Cape Town is set to be the first major city to run out of water. The city is experiencing its worst drought in history. .. Former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk, current Ambassador Lior Keinan, and Israel’s economic attaches to South Africa have all made repeated overtures to the relevant bodies to assist with the Cape

Town water crisis. Although they have not been formally rejected, no one has engaged on any real level. Lord Peter Hain, recently tweeted as follows: “The best desalination construction companies are Israeli and regardless of their government policies, they should be used in my view; this is Cape Town withering or remaining the most beautiful city in the world.”  The people of Cape Town deserve better. They are facing a probable total collapse of their economy, infrastructure and daily life. They don’t deserve to be denied solutions because of a group of BDS supporters who have intimidated weak politicians


Dov Lipman: Hussein Aboubakr, 28, was born to a traditional, middle-class Muslim family in Cairo. He recalls how the movies of his childhood were filled with Jewish villains who were stopped by good Egyptians. The No. 1 comic book character was “Man of the Impossible,” who went around the world destroying Zionist conspiracies. Obsessed with super-villain Jews, Hussein decided to study Hebrew via the Internet, and to then infiltrate these evil plans. After Hussein learned Hebrew, he was completely shocked by Jewish history: Here was an ancient Middle Eastern nation indigenous to the Land of Israel, with an ancient connection to Jerusalem. Hussein became horrified by “everyone around me telling me pure nonsense.” After numerous arrests for blogging about his criticism of anti-Semitism and the mistreatment of women and Christians in the Muslim world, he fled Egypt and received political asylum in the U.S.

Israel Update: 1 February 2018

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Britain’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson addressing the C.F.I., praised Israel as a “beacon of light and hope, in a region where there is so much hatred and hurt”…Speaking of his visit to the country as a teenager, Williamson said: “I didn’t quite know what to expect of Israel. What I found was a liberal, free, exciting country that was so at ease with itself, a country that absorbed and welcomed so many people…” He condemned the often “completely unreasonable…sheer simple hatred” channelled towards Israel, adding that “Britain and Israel have an amazing relationship…We learn a lot from Israel and I hope that Israeli forces also [learn] a little from us.


IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis has warned that “Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory.” noting that Hizbullah has built “terror infrastructure and factories to manufacture weapons under the nose of the Lebanese government.” He added “The past year has been further proof that Hizbullah serves as an operational arm of Iran”. Some 200 villages in south Lebanon have been turned into “military strongholds…I think it is right to warn the residents of Lebanon of the Iranian game in their security and in their future.” (And see Comment & Opinion below)


Two Palestinians wearing IDF-style uniforms were seen near a Jewish community in the West Bank on Sunday night.  One was arrested but the second escaped. The IDF found 6 firebombs and binoculars nearby.

A Palestinian planning a terror attack was arrested Wednesday near a West Bank settlement holding a knife and a map of the Israeli community.


420 of the 1,027 Palestinian terrorists released in exchange for captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in November 2011 have returned to terrorism and violence, according to a senior security official.


U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt visited the Gaza periphery to view recently uncovered terror tunnels that penetrated into Israel. He subsequently wrote: “Hamas wastes resources on tunnels & rockets to attack Israel, instead of helping the people of Gaza by getting the lights on, the water flowing & the economy growing.” Hamas “spews hateful rhetoric & foments a vicious cycle of violence. Gaza deserves better!”

Israel submitted a $1 billion plan for improving Gaza’s infrastructure at a meeting on Wednesday of donor states in Brussels. The plan includes building desalination plants, installing a new high-voltage line that would double the amount of electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, laying a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Gaza, and building a sewage purification plant and a landfill. Israel is willing to provide technology and know-how for these projects, but not to finance them

Israel is to allow power generators to be taken into the Gaza Strip to ease the current fuel crisis but has insisted on a series of security measures to ensure that they are not misused by Hamas and other terror groups.

Israel’s Water Authority signed an agreement with the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company recently to supply electricity to operate a sewage treatment facility in northern Gaza. The $75 million project was funded by the World Bank and several donor countries. The facility is to become fully operational within two months and will serve 300,000 Gazans.Israel will also supply power to the $40 million EU-funded Khan Yunis desalination plant.,7340,L-5077162,00.html

Rocket warning sirens went off in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip just after midnight Monday-Tuesday. Palestinian sources said the rocket fell inside the Gaza Strip


The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories told ambassadors from EU nations that he “is shocked by their inaction and lack of interest regarding the humanitarian matter of IDF soldiers’ bodies being held by Hamas in Gaza. While Israel is working to alleviate the humanitarian situation for the people of Gaza*, it is only natural that we expect international pressure be applied to solve Israel’s humanitarian issue.”  (*see items above re infrastructure, power etc),7340,L-5078515,00.html

For the first time the Council of Europe endorsed a resolution that called on Ramallah (the P.A.) to stop paying salaries to the families of Palestinian terrorists. It also condemned the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called for an increased European role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


Earlier this month, 1,000 doctors, scientists and rescue service members from 35 countries, including China, the U.S., Germany and Spain, participated in the 5th International Conference on Preparedness & Response to Emergencies held by the Israeli military home front command and the country’s health ministry in central Israel.


A Jerusalem-based company Lishtot Detection Ltd has developed the TestDrop, a key chain-like device that detects contaminants in water such as E. coli, lead, arsenic, mercury, copper and chlorine in just two seconds. All users need to do is point the device at a plastic glass filled with water and bingo: if the device lights up in blue, you have the all-clear to drink. But if the light is red, then stop because something is wrong.


130,000 tourists from overseas are expected in Eilat this year during the winter season, compared with 77,000 in the previous year. The number of weekly direct flights to Eilat increased from four to 40-50 over the past three years, including 17 from Russia, 10 from Germany, and 12 from Poland.


The Kooks, a British pop group, performed at two sell-out concerts in Tel Aviv last weekend.


JPOST EDITORIAL: If, or – perhaps more accurately – when, war breaks out again on the northern border with Iranian proxy Hezbollah, the international community won’t be able to claim it was not forewarned.

Israel has been telling anyone willing to listen that Iran is entrenching itself in Syria and is developing precision missiles in Lebanon designed to be fired at Israel. And Israel has no intention of sitting by idly while Tehran does it…Whatever the reason, Hezbollah is dangerously overestimating its military capabilities, which makes it prone to stupid actions that are liable to drag southern Lebanon into another war. It is not too late for countries such as Russia and the US to avert another destructive conflagration in Lebanon that would force Israel to reestablish deterrence with Hezbollah at a terrible price to the Lebanese people. For this to happen, however, there must be a clear recognition that Iran and its proxy Hezbollah are the ones escalating the conflict. In any event, if or when war breaks out again on the northern border, world leaders will not be able to say they were not warned.

Emmanuel Navon: Israel’s decision to expel illegal immigrants (and to redirect some of them to third countries) has aroused fierce criticism both in Israel and abroad. The debate about this contentious issue is welcome, but it must be fair and grounded in facts…In 2017, Israel expelled far more illegal immigrants from the Ukraine (3,361) and from Georgia (844) than from Ethiopia (40). Israel is the only country in the world that brought in Africans (Ethiopian Jews in 1985 and in 1991), not to enslave them but to make them free…Israel’s policy is consistent with international law and with the practice of other democracies, and it should not be judged by higher standards.

Gregg Roman: Abbas does not consider the lack of a Palestinian state to be the problem, but the reality of a Jewish state. This conflict will end only with the end of Palestinian rejection of the idea of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish People’s indigenous and ancestral homeland. This has informed their consistent repudiation of the creation of a state of their own if it means sharing part of the land with a Jewish sovereign presence. Every negotiation towards peace has failed because Palestinian leaders refused recognition of Israel and clauses such as “end of claims” and “end of conflict.” Both the 2000 “Clinton Parameters” and the 2007 Annapolis talks broke down because a Palestinian leader refused to end the conflict. In other words, the conflict will not end with the creation of a Palestinian state, or a removal of settlements and the presence of the I.D.F. in the West Bank. The Palestinians wish to pocket all of this and keep the conflict and their claims open, making all of Israel a future target




Israel Update: 25 January 2018

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The number of Israeli Arabs studying at Israeli universities and colleges climbed 78.5% in the past seven years, the Israel Council for Higher Education reported. At the University of Haifa, 41% of students are Israeli Arab, followed by 22% at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.



Sanaa Mahameed is the first female Muslim volunteer EMT in the United Hatzalah of Israel voluntary first-responder network United Hatzalah, together with the government’s Office of the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, recently trained 13 Bedouin women, all religious Muslims from Shibli and Umm al-Ghanam, to be EMTs.






20 young people with disabilities have been recruited into the IDF and trained as dog handlers. They will be stationed at military and police bases, working with guard dogs, detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs.



After years of decline, the number of Bedouin men volunteering to enlist in the IDF in 2017 increased to 420, up from 300 in 2016. According to a senior military source, the positive turnaround is partially related to changes and adjustments to their service recently adopted by the IDF.






Israeli Border Police thwarted an attempted stabbing attack at a West Bank junction on Tuesday. As two Palestinians advanced toward the police and one drew a knife, a Border Police officer shot and wounded the two. This was the third successful prevention of an attack by Christian border policeman Major N.,7340,L-5075755,00.html






Returning to the U.K. after 5 months working in Israel at Maccabi Tel Aviv former England manager Steve McClaren said: “Tel Aviv was beautiful. Modern, but with history, too. Mediterranean. Multicultural, fantastic restaurants, great beach, the job looked interesting. “I came back and said… ‘Honestly, I felt safe, secure. I think this might be a good idea.’…two of my boys came over and had a great time. The experience was revelatory. “I visited the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Nazareth at Christmas — fascinating. I saw the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It’s got that feeling of spirituality, whatever your beliefs. It’s the epicentre of three religions and all of them believe God will descend in that one spot. And they call Tel Aviv a country within a country because it’s different to the rest of Israel.”






Visiting USA Vice President Michael Pence spoke at the Knesset on Monday. He was interrupted by several Arab-Israeli M.K.s who were ejected by security personnel.



Former British chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks helped US Vice President Mike Pence write his speech.






Both leaders (Modi & Netanyahu) see Israel’s technology-oriented economy as a natural fit for India’s, which needs innovation to improve everything from farming to healthcare. Israel has more than 30 agricultural training centres in India, where locals learn Israeli water-conservation and energy-efficiency techniques. Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General said, “We are engaging on all fronts, beyond the military and diplomacy. We are creating links in the movie industry, oil and gas, cyber and more.”



India’s Tata corporation signed a memorandum of understanding during Israeli P.M. Netanyahu’s visit with the Israeli firm Watergen that specializes in extracting drinking water from the air to create a joint venture in India to manufacture Watergen units.






Researchers in Israel pieced together 60 tiny fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls over a year to decipher one of the last remaining undeciphered texts. The 900 scrolls, dating to at least the 4th century BCE, were first discovered in a cave in Qumran in 1947, and contain the oldest copy of the Hebrew Bible ever found.






Dana Weiss of Israel’s Channel 2 news tweeted that the PA has purchased a $50 million private jet for its president Mahmoud Abbas, all while asking for aid from the Europeans.






Over 113,000 Chinese travelled to Israel in 2017, up 41% over 2016, according to the China director of the Israel Government Tourism Office






National Geographicpublished an interview on Bethlehem with Nicholas Blincoe, a novelist. Among Blincoe’s numerous falsehoods are claims that Bethlehem is the source of water for Jerusalem (it isn’t), that there were no tourists in the city for ten years after an Israeli incursion (that decade included record-setting years in tourism to Bethlehem), and that “Palestinian cities got wiped out” during Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 (not a single city was “wiped out”).






Lord Dannatt ( former Chief of the General Staff of the British Army).: On Thursday,(today) the House of Commons will debate the proscription of Hizbullah in its entirety. Abandoning the false distinction between the organization’s “political” and “terrorist” wings would go a long way toward assuring our national interest.
A few months ago, I completed a study of Hizbullah’s military capabilities with a number of senior colleagues drawn from across Western militaries. The terrorist group has gone to great lengths to expand and enhance its offensive capabilities, most notably through the acquisition of advanced rockets from Iran.
Worse, in the south of the country*, village after village has been turned into a permanent military compound, complete with tunnels, munitions holdings, and armed personnel. UNIFIL, the international peacekeeping force designed to prevent this outcome, is thoroughly outmatched. Moreover, the independence of the Lebanese Armed Forces has been eroded through infiltration by and co-operation with Hizbullah.


* near Israel’s border with Lebanon



Moshe Arens: It has become clear that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian representatives…    The major stumbling block to an agreement, the issue for which there seems to be no solution in sight, is making sure that any Israel military withdrawal will not result in rockets being launched against Israel’s population centres from areas that are turned over to the Palestinians. Israel cannot allow a repetition of what happened after the withdrawal from Gaza. There is little support in Israel for the view that it is better to have rockets on Tel Aviv than a continuation of Israeli military control over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Those who support that position in the world are not particularly concerned for the security of Israel’s citizens. Until such time as this issue is laid to rest, there will be no meaningful progress.



Amb. Gary Grappo: (former U.S. Ambassador to Oman and Deputy Chief of Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.)

The Palestinians need a major overhaul in their leadership, and then a new approach to negotiations. In elections for a new PA leadership, all candidates should be required to subscribe to the Quartet’s principles: recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of all previous agreements, and renunciation of violence. Hamas would not be eligible to participate unless it formally accepted the same principles.

A new Palestinian leadership should commit itself to building genuine institutions of democracy and to raising the economic well-being of the Palestinian people, regardless of the progress of negotiations with Israel.



Rabbi Meir Soloveichik: Vice President Mike Pence’s address was one of the most Zionist speeches ever given by a non-Jew in the Knesset. The vice president is a devout evangelical Christian and threaded his remarks with references to Scripture. His speech was a window into the heart of many American Christians who observe Israel’s emergence with wonder and reverence… For many centuries the Jewish people received little love and much hate from the nations of the world. Today, tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans share Mr.Pence’s sincere affection for Israel.




Israel Update: 18 January 2018

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Israeli planes on Saturday night destroyed an attack tunnel reaching 180 metres into Israeli territory from Gaza which also extended into Egyptian territory…This is the fourth tunnel destroyed by Israel in recent months.

The attack tunnel ran underneath the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing, where most of the humanitarian aid, food and fuel enter the Gaza Strip, as well as below major gas and diesel pipelines, and an underground explosion would have caused mass casualties among the hundreds of people who work there daily.



A rocket fired at Israel from Gaza fell short striking a Gazan home and wounding three people, Arab media reported Monday.



Yousef Rabaya from Jenin was born with cerebral palsy. His curved back caused much pain and he couldn’t stand. After a U.S. operation failed, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Centre performed reconstruction surgery and now Yousef can walk again.


Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Centre successfully transplanted a kidney into a 13-year-old Gazan boy suffering from renal failure. The donor was his brother who was flown in via Jordan from Algeria where he was studying. Since the beginning of pediatric kidney transplants at Rambam in 2014, a total of 32 transplants have been performed, of which one-third have been performed on children from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.




Kay Wilson, a British woman who was stabbed 13 times and left for dead by Palestinian terrorists, discovered that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is using British taxpayers’ money to pay her imprisoned attackers, who also killed her American friend Kristine Luken. Kay additionally sustained 30 broken bones. The two attackers were jailed but belonged to a group allied to Fatah which runs the P.A., which has since used aid money to pay them while they sit in jail. Wilson has written to House of Commons International Development Committee Chairman Stephen Twigg asking for an investigation of the P.A.’s funding and incitement of terrorism



Asher Elmaliach, 46, the security guard who sustained critical injuries when he was stabbed in the heart and lungs by an Arab terrorist on December 10, has been discharged from hospital after spending

weeks on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine.




The United States sent $60 million to keep the UN relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) in operation but withheld a further $65 million while it urged others to pay more. A State Department official said “There is a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of UNRWA, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded,” (See comment below)




It was reported last Thursday that Israel is to increase the number of work permits for Palestinians by 7,500. Some 100,000-110,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel, including 30,000-40,000 labourers without permits, while 30,000 work in Jewish communities in the West Bank.



Israeli customs personnel at Ashdod port discovered a large consignment of military equipment destined for Gaza, including thousands of items of military clothing, including boots, coats and combat vests, all in camouflage colours.

Army sappers detonated a cellphone-operated explosive device planted by Palestinians at the entrance to Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank on Tuesday morning, ahead of a visit by 1,000 Jewish worshippers .

The IDF arrested three Palestinian Arab sisters on Thursday in Hebron who had been planning to carry out a terror attack. When the sisters arrived at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs, IDF Border Police officers found a knife strapped to the body of one of the women and another one on the ground.


P.M. Netanyahu, expecting to be met by the Indian Foreign Minister, was surprised to be warmly greeted by his counterpart, Indian P.M. Modi, on his arrival in Delhi on Sunday at the start of a 5 day visit.



Israel’s Laniado hospital used groundbreaking stem cell treatment from Israel’s BioGenCell to save amputating the legs of five diabetic patients with poor circulation. Stem cells from the patients’ blood injected into their leg muscles grew new blood vessels to bypass blockages.




Major T., 35, has been appointed the first female commander of a flight squadron in the Israel Air Force.A mother of 2, she has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. In addition, Maj. M, a female flight supervisor, has been appointed chief of a command and control unit at the air force operations headquarters and will be promoted to lieutenant colonel.




An Israeli high-tech paint SolCold uses the sun’s power to activate a cooling mechanism, effectively providing air conditioning without electricity. The product is generating interest for coating anything from chicken coops to cargo ships, malls to stadiums, cars to planes, satellites to hothouses, military equipment to apartment houses.




The high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem made its first test run on Tuesday and is due to open on 30 March.




The recently opened National Memorial Hall for Israel’s Fallen next to the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem has been included on a list of finalists for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects’ 2018 international prize.




Last month, Cuba quietly welcomed an Israeli trade delegation to Havana for the first time since Cuba severed ties with Israel in 1973.






Liat Collins: Britain ended its rule of India and Pakistan in 1947 and of Israel in 1948. An estimated 15 million people were uprooted in Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Between one million and two million were killed. Seventy years on, India and Pakistan have an uneasy relationship that occasionally flares into conflict, but there is not a “refugee problem.” The Hindus and Sikhs who fled Pakistan and the Muslims who escaped in the other direction have not spent the past seven decades constantly being sold the illusion that they will move back and destroy their enemies. Similarly, the 850,000 Jews who left/fled Arab countries do not consider themselves “refugees” in Israel. Strangely, there are only “Palestinian refugees.” When the UN uniquely granted the Palestinians “perpetual refugee status” that is passed down through the generations, it ensured the perpetuation of their plight. UNRWA’s mandate to resettle the Palestinian refugees was rescinded in 1965. UNRWA is not the solution to the Palestinian refugee problem; it is the reason the problem still exists.
Funding that could go to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help the Rohingya or the millions made homeless in the civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, or throughout Africa is instead being spent on the great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees of ’48.


Alex Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky: The titanic crisis created by the Syrian civil war, which has produced millions of actual refugees, puts the Palestinian issue in a new and dramatically diminished light. UNRWA’s own mismanagement – such as reports that the agency has dramatically overcounted the Palestinians it serves in Lebanon – also makes the status quo more difficult to sustain… UNRWA has outlived its usefulness; the Palestinians are not “refugees” but are entitled to citizenship in the countries where they’ve lived for decades.


Ron Prosor: The most recent population census in Lebanon found that two-thirds of the refugees listed in UNRWA reports were simply made up.




David Horowitz: On Sep. 16, 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered PA President Abbas pretty much everything the Palestinians ostensibly seek from Israel in a bid to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. For years afterwards, Olmert would say he was still waiting to hear back from Abbas.

Abbas chose not to accept Olmert’s unbeatable offer of statehood because it would have required the Palestinians to acknowledge the legitimacy of an Israel which – in Abbas’ own words to the PLO leadership on Sunday – is just a “colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.”..detailing a narrative that allowed no historic Jewish connection to this land – no Biblical history, no Temples, no ancient sovereignty. He airbrushed the Jewish nation out of its own past. Obviously, no leader so determinedly blinded to his enemy’s legitimacy could ever have agreed to reconciliation…Abbas’ speech dismally underlined that the false narrative of Jewish history is not only cynically disseminated by Palestinian leaders to their people, but also is thoroughly accepted by the leaders themselves…The Olmert offer of a decade ago showed how far Israel was prepared to go to partner the Palestinians to statehood. The despicable, tragic, self-defeating Abbas speech of Sunday night showed that so long as the Palestinians blind themselves to the fact of Israel’s legitimacy, no Israeli offer is going to be good enough.

Israel Update: 10 January 2018

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P.M. Netanyahu on Tuesday speaking to NATO member state ambassadors to Israel said that there are  “are important areas where Israel contributes to the security of every single NATO country.” adding that “We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries. Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives,”




Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 35, an Israeli father of six, was murdered on Tuesday evening when his vehicle was targeted by terrorists in a passing car on Route 60, the main highway in the West Bank. Rabbi Shevach was a volunteer at Magen David Adom and at a chevra kadisha .


The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, launched a scathing attack on the Palestinians and their leadership on Wednesday, blaming them squarely for the lack of peace with Israel. He said: “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards,”


The Palestinian Authority spent $358 million on payments to terrorists and their families in 2017, an amount representing 7% of the PA’s total budget and an increase from the $322 million spent in 2016. Terrorists serving a life sentence receive a monthly stipend of $2,900. In comparison, the average monthly salary of Palestinians in the West Bank is $580.
Defence Minister Lieberman said:  “The P.A. pays terrorists and their families over a billion shekels a year, thus encouraging and perpetuating terrorism,”


Two Czech tourists were rescued by Israeli police after they took a wrong turn and drove into a West Bank Palestinian village on Tuesday. A number of Palestinians threw rocks, damaging the tourists’ car.



Two female Bedouin Israeli teenagers were indicted on Monday on charges they were planning to carry out a New Year’s eve attack on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist group. A 24-year-old East Jerusalem man was also charged on Monday of lesser counts in connection with the plot.


Border Police on Monday arrested a Palestinian woman who was found to be carrying a knife as she approached a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs holy site in the West Bank city of Hebron.




A team of Israeli specialists has arrived in Zambia to help deal with the cholera problem. Their main task is the deployment of technology to deal with water purification and treatment to eliminate the bacteria that causes cholera.



As Trump moved last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an Egyptian intelligence officer Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi quietly placed phone calls to the hosts of several influential talk shows in Egypt, telling them that strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest and that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it…Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with Ramallah which currently houses the Palestinian Authority. “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Captain Kholi asked repeatedly in four audio recordings of his telephone calls obtained by The New York Times. “Exactly that,” agreed one host, who confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

In a recent speech at Tel Aviv University, Egyptian sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, 79, Egypt’s foremost social scientist advocated further normalization with Israel, suggesting the country should be economically integrated into the Arab Middle East. He was participating in an academic conference about Egyptian society. A small group of Israeli Arabs tried to disrupt his speech, then stormed out.


Rami Aziz, an Egyptian researcher and political analyst, responded to the protestors (item above) saying: “Millions of students in the Arab world envy you, you should thank God that you live in Israel, you bunch of hypocrites and liars,” adding “Only in Israel can Arab students shout at an Egyptian lecturer that he is a traitor for coming to a Zionist university. And what exactly are they doing at a Zionist university? There is no limit to the hypocrisy, disgust and aggravation of Israeli Arabs. How much can you bite the hand that feeds you?”




A Hebrew University archaeology doctoral student described how Palestinian tractors and bulldozers arrived at an archaeological site where the ancient city of Archelaus once stood. They completely levelled the compound to locate hidden archaeological treasures to sell in the antiquities market. He compared the “deliberate and systematic destruction of an archaeological site” to ISIS activities in Iran & Syria.




A Tel Aviv University study that set out to find what makes some pancreatic cancer patients more likely to survive the deadly disease than others hopes to use the results to develop an effective cocktail of drugs to fight the aggressive cancer as well as other types.




SuperMeat, an Israeli startup developing lab-made chicken meat raised $3 million in seed funding and has formed a strategic partnership with a European poultry producer. SuperMeat say that their process puts an end to the industrial need to mass produce animals for slaughter, while eliminating exposure to animal waste and food-borne illnesses,”

The new funding would help bring its chicken products to market within three years at a price similar to conventional chicken products.



Swedish furniture giant Ikea will be opening its fourth store in Israel, in the southern city of Beersheba



The “drop tomato”, a new variety of cherry tomato,  is about the size of a blueberry and the Kedma company in the Arava desert says it is the smallest one ever cultivated in Israel, perhaps even in the world.




Israel intends to revive the Hejaz railway linking the Israeli port of Haifa to the Gulf states. Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Katz said, “We will extend the track that connects Haifa and Beit Shean to the King Hussein Bridge; the Jordanians will extend it to connect to the Saudi railways.”




Elias Zarina: Born and raised in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, I am certain that Israel is the only country in the region where Christians are thriving…The Christian exodus from Palestinian cities, including Bethlehem, is evidence of their maltreatment and their feelings of insecurity. However, in Israel, the Christian community continues to grow in numbers. Christians in Israel enjoy economic prosperity, independent educational systems with some of the country’s most successful schools, a great health system, and full civil rights. It is for this reason that a growing number of Christians choose to enlist in the Israel Defence Forces, study, and live here