Israel Update: 11 May 2017
ISRAEL’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
The Lancet, a leading UK medical journal, has published a series of papers outlining Israel’s achievements in health and health care.
The May 8th edition of The Lancet features ten articles which range from showcasing Israeli lifesaving medical devices and detailing groundbreaking genetic research among the country’s diverse population to highlighting Israeli efforts to treat Syrian refugees injured in the civil war.
Israel’s public healthcare system is a model of genuine co-operation between Arabs and Jews. Arabs fulfill 12.4% of jobs in the government healthcare system, 42% of nursing students are Arab, and 38% of druggists are Arab. In 2015, 16% of all medical students were Arab; at the Technion medical school, Arabs were 38% of students and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 31%. Prof. Ahmed Eid, head of general surgery at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital was one of this year’s Independence Day torch lighters
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY’S VISIT
Israeli President Rivlin met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Jerusalem on Monday. Warmly welcoming him, Rivlin said, “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing.”… Referring to recent comments made by the president of Turkey, Rivlin noted, “For the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Israeli sovereignty, we continue to build Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people…and we will continue to ensure freedom of religion for all faiths.”
SECURITY PRISONERS IN ISRAEL
As well as basic rights to receive medical treatment and basic living conditions (such as hot water, showers and sanitation), prisoners receive education and regular visits from the Red Cross. They can receive newspapers, send and receive letters and read and keep their own books. They can buy goods from the prison’s canteen, which is run by the inmates. Relatives can deposit money for prisoners. Prisoners receive family visitations, television watching hours and electrical appliances, such as kettles and mosquito killers. Many security prisoners receive monthly salaries, which can sometimes reach up to 12,000 NIS a month, from the P.A. for carrying out their (frequently) murderous crimes.
The Israel Prison Service released a video on Sunday that appears to show Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti (serving five life sentences for terrorism convictions) eating in his prison cell on two occasions while supposedly leading a hunger strike.
A senior PLO official said “whoever you ask will tell you on record that the (Barghouti) video is fake, but behind closed doors people are admitting that it’s authentic. We were incredibly angry when we saw the recordings.”
A Palestinian armed with a knife ran screaming toward Israeli Border Police forces on Thursday (4 May) near the Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron and was shot and taken to hospital for treatment.
Security forces arrested three Palestinians suspected to have been behind 10 shootings last month, and found an M-16 assault rifle used in the attacks hidden inside a secret compartment in a child’s Dora the Explorer bed. “That’s the last place that we as a military want to go into and search,” a senior intelligence officer said.Security forces also found two handguns,
Two Israeli men with serious mental health conditions who crossed separately from Israel into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, neither of whom has been heard from since, have apparently been held by Hamas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. Hamas refers to the men as soldiers, but an HRW investigation indicates that the men were not combatants or affiliated with the Israeli government when they entered Gaza.
A senior Hamas leader said Wednesday that a document published by them last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction. “The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,” he said. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’] position.
In April, the Palestinian Authority stopped paying Gaza’s electricity bill. This means sewage treatment plants are receiving 3-4 hours of electricity a day, not enough to process Gaza’s sewage. Gaza municipalities are now dumping 70,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage into the Mediterranean daily and the pollution has started reaching Egypt and Israel.
“Moona, a Space for Change,” is a nonprofit technology incubator in the Galilee that aims to build bridges between Israeli Jews and Arab youth through space technologies.
A fleet of high-powered “spy drones” have been bought by the Irish Army from an Israeli defence company for 1.9M euros. The Defence Forces stress the primary objective is to provide the “greatest possible force protection” to Irish troops. They also emphasize that they tendered internationally to get the best possible deal.
Dublin City councillors have voted to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall for one month. An alternative proposal, to fly both the Palestinian flag and Israeli flag for one week, was voted down. Lord Mayor Brendan Carr chose to abstain from the final vote, explaining that he met with young Palestinians and Israelis who said they did not want Irish people taking sides as they tried to establish peace.
U.S. Air Force Gen. (ret.) Gary North, vice president for customer requirements at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said Thursday in Tel Aviv, “There’s a part of Israel in every F-35 that’s ever been built.”
Lockheed has already contracted more than $1 billion worth of structures, subsystems, and components with Israeli industry.
The Condor, developed by two Israeli defence companies, is a drone that can operate in extreme weather conditions, cover an area of 5-8 kilometers, and provide information about the precise location of lost hikers or wanted terrorists, even if they are hiding inside buildings or tunnels…In Peru a local rescue company used the Condor to locate and rescue a missing hiker.
COMMENT & OPINION
Bassem Eid (A Palestinian activist): The BDS movement, which claims to be our friend, is determined to blame Israel for all our problems, and refuses to acknowledge the true issues. Instead, they are engaged in a self-serving narrative aimed at making them look like heroes who are supposedly helping the Palestinians. If they truly were our friends, they would open their eyes and help resolve the real issues….If so-called pro-Palestinian activists truly want to help the Palestinians, then they should demand freedom, human rights, democracy, and justice for the Palestinians. They should demand that the incitement of Palestinians stop. They should assist Israel in creating jobs in the West Bank for Palestinians. They should assist Palestinians in developing an economy while ensuring that the money is not used to enrich the terrorists’ rule or to augment the terrorists’ arsenal. They should encourage Palestinians to live in peace with Jews.
Bassam Tawil: PA President Mahmoud Abbas may soon be known for his sense of humour, after telling President Trump, “We are raising our youth…on a culture of peace.” The Oslo Accords, signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, gave the Palestinians media outlets, including television and radio stations, which were then used to amplify hatred against Israel and Jews on a daily basis… Abbas continues to use non-existent threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque to incite Palestinian youths against Israel. He talks about “herds of settlers storming al-Aqsa Mosque” – in reality, peaceful routine visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. In September 2015, Abbas stated that he “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem,” and soon after, Palestinians began waging a campaign of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis. Is this the “culture of peace” to which Abbas is referring?
Kate Havard, &Grant Rumley:Hamas’s outgoing political leader Khaled Meshaal recently announced the release of a new political document. Contrary to reports, this new document neither replaces the charter nor abrogates the group’s founding document. While it is a departure from the faction’s 1988 manifesto, it is not a sign of moderation. Rather, it is an effort to ease international isolation and appeal to the rival Fatah party’s base of support.
An Israeli veterans’ organization has released a hard-hitting new video attacking “Breaking the Silence” – an NGO that publishes what it says are the anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers who participated in “abuses against Palestinians”. Soldiers who served with Dean Issacharoff of “Breaking the Silence” saw a video featuring him making an outrageous claim and had to respond. Critics say that Issacharoff’s story besmirches the IDF. His organisation regularly tells stories that are distorted, missing vital details, or quite simply are shocking lies. Far from working to bring about peace, these stories create a narrative that blames Israel while totally exonerating the Palestinians.
VIDEO: (1 minute 35 seconds)