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: