Israel Update: 14 September 2017

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Florida, Mexico, Haiti & the Caribbean.

As at last Sunday, 10 September, Israeli humanitarian-aid groups were already on their way to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Three teams of volunteers from IsraAID, ZAKA Search and Rescue, and the Israel Rescue Coalition, all of whom rushed to help in the aftermath of last week’s Hurricane Harvey in Texas, were travelling to Florida to help. Other Israeli aid teams were heading to Mexico, which was hit by a deadly earthquake on Thursday, and are offering aid to communities in Haiti and the Caribbean also devastated by Irma.


A 12-member Israeli team flew out to the area in southern Mexico affected by a massive earthquake. They were equipped with high-tech gear for searching for people trapped under rubble.


Benyamin Netanyahu is the first Israeli Prime Minister to make an official tour of Latin America. After visiting Buenos Aires, the P.M. was in Bogota where Columbian President Santos thanked Israel for its help in  defusing landmines. After a 52-year civil war that ended in November 2016, Colombia has the second highest number of landmines, after Afghanistan. In September, Israel’s National Mine Action Authority hosted eight Colombians for a week-long workshop on mine-clearing procedures. Netanyahu and Santos also signed a tourism cooperation agreement



Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country’s ongoing violent civil war. These Syrians expressed their appreciation for the IDF’s medical care, saying it has strengthened their yearning for peace &  undermined indoctrination of Israel as an enemy; One typical quote: ‘To all Syrians who say Israel is the enemy, I say that you are liars. Israel is our friend.,7340,L-5014499,00.html


A Palestinian man brandishing a knife who tried to carry out a stabbing attack on Wednesday at a bus stop near Kiryat Arba was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment after being shot and wounded. The attack came a day after Border Police officers arrested a Palestinian teenager carrying a knife at a checkpoint in Hebron, the third such incident in the city over the past week. Last Friday, a Palestinian man was arrested there when he was discovered to be hiding a knife on his person, while last Wednesday Border Police officers arrested a Palestinian teenager after finding a knife in his possession.


The head of the Israel Security Agency, told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday that in July and August the agency had prevented 70 terror attacks, and that since the beginning of the year it had thwarted 200 terror attacks including suicide bombings, shootings and kidnappings



Top UK banks, insurers and telecom companies have been seeking cyber security solutions from Israel this week, as part of an effort by the British Government to protect companies and institutions from cyber attacks. 12 leading Israeli cyber security startups have been hosted in London at a series of targeted events as part of TeXchange, a programme by the British Embassy in Israel.



A rehabilitative technology called BalanceTutor developed in Israel has been adopted by the Real Sociedad football (soccer) team in Spain.  BalanceTutor was originally designed for seniors and individuals who had suffered a stroke, to help get them walking safely again and train them to prevent future falls.

Playsight unveiled its SmartPitch instant video analysis system at the Soccerex convention in Manchester this week. SmartPitch records the action on the field and uploads it immediately to the cloud, allowing coaches to show players instant replays of their contribution…The technology was originally used to train Israeli fighter pilots.

Intel Corp. has outfitted eight National Football League stadiums in the U.S. with high-definition cameras that will allow fans to see the game from every angle and create 360-degree highlights for a more action-packed experience. The cameras – which are ready for the 2017 season – are equipped with Intel’s “freeD” technology that was developed by Israeli startup Replay Technologies, which Intel bought last year. The freeD system allows broadcasters to freeze video, rotate the angle of view and zoom in on the action.




The Giro d’Italia cycling race will open next year’s event in Israel, marking the first time any leg of the sport’s Grand Tours will take place outside of Europe.,7340,L-5016636,00.html




Last month, volunteers with Israel’s Eye from Zion  humanitarian organization held an “eye camp” in Chuka, Kenya. They treated 723 patients in three locations, from infants to senior citizens, performing free treatments and surgeries – 85 percent of the surgeries to remove cataracts and 10% to correct astigmatism. They also helped to set up Participants an advanced eye clinic donating supplies, including surgical and lab equipment and medications. Two Kenyan medical officers were trained to use the equipment, the hospital’s technical staff learned how to maintain the machinery and three nurses received training in surgical assistance. Additional equipment will be brought on a future visit.




Norway has secured the return of $10,000 given to a Palestinian women’s centre that was named in honour of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in Israel that resulted in the death of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.



Water purification technology developed by an Israeli firm has been chosen for use at the iconic Hoover Dam to prevent an invasive species of mussel from interfering with the dam’s electricity production. Atlantium’s Hydro-Optic Ultraviolet technology designed to prevent fouling at Hoover Dam by the quagga mussel, which threatens to clog the turbine’s water cooling system.

As they prepared to attend WATEC Israel’s premier water conference in Tel Aviv, a group of Czech water experts got a first-hand look at one of Israel’s innovative ways of tackling the issue of water wasted in urban runoff: The Biofilter in Kfar Saba



Palestinian intelligence forces arrested Muhammad Sabir Jabir from Hebron on Sunday after he hosted an Israeli parliament member Yehudah Glick in his home during the recent Eid al-Adha holiday. It remained.unclear what Jabir was being charged with.

Glick said Jabir’s arrest was senseless and once again proves that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t want peace. “He’s a peace activist whom I met via the head of the Ahmadiyya community in Haifa,” Glick said, referring to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. “I went to wish him a happy holiday on Id al-Adha, and I regret that this is what happened.”


Stories of Palestinian Authority torture have been emerging since the Jerusalem District Court ruled earlier this summer that Palestinians can sue the PA in Israeli courts



Herb Keinon: Israel on Thursday reportedly attacked a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre that housed chemical weapons and missiles. When P.M. Netanyahu visited Russian President Putin two weeks ago, he made it clear that if and when Israel attacked to protect its interests, everyone should understand why it happened and what was at stake and no one should be surprised. Israel has made clear that it will not allow game-changing weaponry to be transferred from Syria or Iran to Hizbullah, and will not let Iran or Hizbullah build bases on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that could be used for attacks against Israel. It was telling that there was no immediate condemnation of the attack from Moscow. Their  silence could be interpreted as a sign they were not blindsided by the move


Krishnadev Calamur:Israel now faces two intertwined mortal enemies gaining strength close to its borders – Iran and Hizbullah. Thursday’s airstrike in Syria signals to Israel’s adversaries that it will not sit by as forces inimical to it gain strength, and that any political resolution of the Syrian conflict must take into account Israel’s long-term security interests.

Alex Ward: Israel bombed a suspected Syrian chemical weapons factory last week, just one day after the UN blamed Syrian forces for a chemical weapons attack in April…In 2013, Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons as part of a diplomatic deal with Russia and the U.S. to avert a planned American strike in response to Assad gassing almost 1,000 of his own citizens to death near Damascus.