Israel Update: 19 September 2017

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An earlier and brief Update this week – I take this opportunity to wish all my readers who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah – Shana Tovah – A Happy New Year. 


Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday met Egypt’s President el-Sissi in New York in the first-ever public sit-down meeting between them. The two leaders had “a comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region” and Sissi “expressed his desire to assist in efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the region.

Israel intercepted an Iranian-built drone that penetrated into Israeli airspace from Syria on Tuesday. An IDF Spokesman said the Hizbullah-operated, intelligence-gathering drone took off from Damascus International Airport and was intercepted by a Patriot missile.


Speaking at a news conference with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto said last Thursday that his country had accepted Israel’s offer to help it and the U.S. develop Central America, particularly Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He noted that Israel brings experience from development projects in Africa. Netanyahu’s trip marked the first visit to Mexico by a sitting Israeli prime minister.



India has long been using Israeli security technology and border security advice along its more dangerous borders, like those in Kashmir. The Israeli equipment and experience helped stop illegal border crossings of armed Islamic terrorists from Pakistan through the use of ground radar, thermal imaging and other electronic gear. The key to these systems was new video and sensor analysis software, which the Israelis have pioneered… both Israel and India have been able to build security fences that have succeeded in keeping terrorists out. India has borders more than ten times longer than Israel and cannot afford to intensively use troop patrols to cover it all. The Israelis have proposed a security fence that comes in many different levels of complexity (and cost) and advised India to buy as much as they need for every part of the border.

Biofeed, an Israeli company, says it has developed a no-spray, environment-friendly solution that can protect Indian farmers from the deadly oriental fruit fly, the most destructive, invasive and widespread of all fruit flies that is found in 66 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas…According to one report, using Biofeed, Mango farmers on four Indian orchards saw an overall decrease of fruit fly infestation from 95% to less than 5%..


China this week signed a deal with Israeli high-tech vegan meat companies.Eight companies in the world are working to produce high-tech, vegan meat and three of them are in Israel – SuperMeat, Future Meat Technologies, and Meat the Future.


Clothing companies in Gaza have resumed shipments to the Israeli market for the first time since the Hamas takeover there in 2007. Bashir al-Bawab, chairman of Unipal 2000 in Gaza, said his company exported 6,000 pieces of clothing to Israel through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing. Tayseer al-Oustaz, head of the Gaza Federation of the Clothing and Textile Industry, said 25 factories are ready to sell their products to the Israeli market.

A Hamas member died in a tunnel incident in the Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday, the third such incident in recent days. On September 15 in separate incidents, two terrorists were killed after two tunnels collapsed. Hamas has run Gaza for a decade and fought three wars with Israel. The terrorist organisation has built a network of tunnels inside Gaza, as well as some under the Israeli border.


Two years after the nuclear deal was signed by Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic is reported to have boosted its financial support to Hezbollah to $800 million a year, a dramatic increase from the $200m. it was said to be giving its proxy when sanctions were in place. Iran is also providing Hamas in Gaza with $60-70 million and  spending hundreds of millions of dollars for its militias in Syria and Iraq, as well as supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Former defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s 17th annual conference in Herzliya that the international community was failing to deal with Iran:  “The Iranian regime continues to violate United Nations Security Council resolutions and distributes weapons and terrorism,” he said. “It transfers arms to Lebanon and Yemen, for example, and does not pay a price. There are enough reasons to impose sanctions on Iran and even worsen the existing ones.”

Iran’s newly-appointed army chief on Monday warned that the Islamic Republic would raze the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the “Zionist regime” makes “any wrong move.” General Abdolrahim Mousavi said previous warnings that Israel will not exist in 25 years did not mean it would necessarily last that long.

Israeli Presiden Rivlin told members of the diplomatic corps in Jerusalem on Monday: “The fact that Iran continues to regain more and more legitimacy, while Iranian leadership continues to call for Israel’s destruction, isunacceptable….Such actions and statements that we hear against Israel – denying our rights and threatening our existence – are unacceptable.”

In 2016, a few months after the nuclear agreement with Iran went into effect, a Western entity gave the International Atomic Energy Agency information regarding sites that Iran did not report as part of its nuclear program and where forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted,…Almost all the sites have not been visited by IAEA inspectors – either because of Iran’s refusal to grant entry or UN officials’ reluctance to confront Iran on the issue. “There is a whole list of suspicious sites where the Iranians do not allow inspectors to visit and no one enforces the supervision mechanisms established in the nuclear agreement. There is simply a demonstration of weakness in the IAEA when it comes to Iran….When it comes to visits to suspicious sites, the agreement is not implemented.”