Israel Update: 17 November 2016

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by Hazel Green



The UN’s World Health Organization has recognized the Israeli army’s field hospital, which is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites, as “the number one in the world” in a ceremony last week, classifying it as its first and only “Type 3” field hospital, along with some additional “specialized care” recognitions, which technically made it a “Type 3 plus,”



Over six months a BBC Arabic documentary team gained extraordinary access to Gadsar – an all-Arab unit of 500 within the IDF. Ten times as many Israeli Arabs – Muslims and Christians – are joining the IDF compared to three years ago. Mahmud Kashua said “I consider myself an Arab and a Muslim but I also consider myself part of this country. It’s our state and we have to give back, to help as much as we can to the state which protects us.”




A meeting was held last Thursday (10/11) with Gazan strawberry farmers and officials from the Israeli Civil Administration to discuss plans for planting strawberries in the Bisan valley…The project has so far produced some 425 tons of strawberries, and has generated an income of some 5 million shekels ($1,302,999) for participating Palestinian farmers… The civil administration is toinitiate a seminar on the project, with the expected participation of 30 Palestinian farmers, in cooperation with the Israeli-based company Bio Bee.




Israel recently approved a master plan for a Palestinian village in the part of the West Bank where Israeli settlements are located, (Area C) Ti’anik, population around 1,000, will be able to obtain building permits for existing houses and new ones…the Civil Administration (Israel’s governing body in the West Bank) has also issued building permits to retroactively legalize parts of two schools, one in Bethlehem and the other in Hebron.


The IDF is to invest NIS 50 million ($1.3 million) into enlarging two West Bank crossings into Israel to ease passage for Palestinians and improve security. The crossings are at Qalandiya, north of Jerusalem, and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.


Faced with increasingly dire economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, Israel is trying to keep the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority afloat as donor aid plummets…Under the Oslo Accords, Israel levies taxes on goods and services imported into the territories, and collects health, social security and other benefits from firms in Israel that employ Palestinians. Using that mechanism, Israel so far this year has transferred $262 million, nearly 8% of total Palestinian revenues, to the PA.




Eight Palestinians from the West Bank and east Jerusalem involved in planning terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank have been arrested. Security forces uncovered laboratory equipment used to manufacture explosives and roadside bombs, along with 120 kg. of raw material to be used in their manufacture. An east Jerusalem resident, was arrested when attempting to smuggle in two kg. of gunpowder for pipe bombs,7340,L-4877391,00.html?




In 2007, the U.K. issued an “urgent operational requirement” for a weapon to deliver counter-battery fire against mortar teams harassing British troops in Iraq. The British Army needed something that could respond swiftly and precisely so as not to cause collateral damage in a densely populated city – and they needed it right away. The UK acquired 12 armoured personnel carriers fitted with Israel’s Spike Non-Line of Sight missiles and leased two more directly from I.D.F. stocks.


NatWest, one of the UK’s largest banks, has deployed Israeli company BioCatch technology since the beginning of the year within its private banking arm Coutts and for some of its business customers, successfully preventing online fraud and helping to protect its 14 million customers… NatWest and BioCatch plan to pilot the technology with the bank’s personal banking customers sometime in 2017.




The Israeli-designed SpectroDrone, the world’s first drone capable of remotely detecting explosives, hazardous material and narcotics, uses lasers to automatically pinpoint and analyze threats from an operational radius of up to 2.9 km (1.8 miles) and beams images back to its controllers in real-time.


Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a technology that could improve the efficiency of photovoltaic (solar power) cells by nearly 70%.


The Israeli Innovation Authority and the German Ministry of Science announced the launch of a new 30 million euro project to have nanotechnology institutes in both countries collaborate in joint projects. The initiative brings together two countries which have taken a global lead in the physics-shaking nanotechology industry




Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrived in India on Monday with a large delegation of businessmen and academicians on an eight-day visit to further strengthen bilateral ties


More than 10% of foreign exchange students in Israel are from India. The Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project is active in nine states across India, and has 15 fully operational Centers of Excellence, with more being planned.


More on the visit here:




A delegation led by U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, was in Israel recently to witness the latest local developments in emergency responsiveness, as the guest of the IDF Homefront Command.
 On Tuesday the visiting Americans observed a large-scale exercise in Israel’s north, where emergency responders trained in alerting and assisting civilians threatened by Hizbullah’s arsenal of nearly 100,000 rockets.




Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday that professional teams from Israel and Turkey had begun discussions last week on the technical details of laying a gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey, and that there were talks with Egypt on the export of gas from Israel to that country


Israel and Turkey have recently appointed ambassadors.




Israel and France held their first joint air exercise on the island of Corsica over the past two weeks with Israeli F-15s flying alongside French Rafale jets.




Born and raised in Ethiopia, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw immigrated to Israel when she was 12 and went on to serve as a commander in the IDF. She made history in 2013 when she became the first black woman to win the Miss Israel beauty pageant. She is touring U.S. college campuses to raise awareness about Israel..




Evelyn Gordon: Last week, the World Health Organization, a UN agency, named Israel the first country in the world to be awarded its highest ranking for medical emergency response teams deployed overseas. Two weeks ago it was reported that the UN’s peacekeeping service asked Israel to train its peacekeepers in emergency field medicine; the seminar is expected to take place in the coming weeks. And every year, this same UN labels Israel the world’s worst violator of health rights, the only country deserving of a country-specific condemnation…. if you take all three of those decisions seriously, you’re forced to conclude that the UN thinks the world’s worst violator of health rights is the ideal choice to be first on the scene in any medical disaster worldwide and also to train the UN’s own peacekeepers


Khaled Abu Toameh: The position of the two Palestinian leaders, Arafat and Abbas, is deeply rooted in the Palestinian tradition and culture, in which any compromise with Israel is considered an act of high treason…Thanks to decades of indoctrination and anti-Israel rhetoric, for which both Arafat and Abbas are also responsible, Palestinians have been radicalized to the point where it is impossible to identify a single leader who would negotiate in good faith with Israel.



Since the 1990s, as the U.S. and other countries have sent billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, Palestinian leaders have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards to those who carry out bombings, stabbings and other attacks in Israel. These payments, codified in Palestinian law, are an official incentive program for murder that in any other context would be recognized as state sponsorship of terror.


John Howell M.P.:The Balfour Declaration was instrumental in the creation of the State of Israel, serving, in effect, as a legal birth certificate. It was ratified by all 51 countries of the League of Nations when the Mandate for Palestine was approved in July 1922. When it was issued in 1917, the infrastructure of a Jewish state was already being established, with the widespread foundation of kibbutzim and moshavim. The affirmation of the British Government served to validate this process, rather than initiate it.
Israel has lived up to the highest ambitions of the Balfour Declaration, as a democratic, prosperous and self-reliant state