Israel Update: 4.10.2018
On September 30, IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid sent a six-member emergency response team to North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence caused large-scale damage. A second team is flying out this week to help the local community in home recovery and debris removal, and assessing long-term needs as the area recovers. At the same time, IsraAID has sent a team to the Philippines to aid victims of the typhoon and is planning to deploy to Indonesia following the tsunami that has so far claimed 1,200 lives.
IsraAid’s team was expected to depart for Indonesia on Wednesday, despite Israel having no diplomatic relations with the majority Muslim country.The team will distribute emergency supplies including food, water, blankets and tents, and also begin assessments for the long-term needs of the affected populations.
Israel sent water purifiers to the disaster-hit areas in Indonesia through the Red Cross.
Israeli defence electronics company Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract with a potential maximum value of $52 million from the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the British army with its operationally proven Morpheus battle management application for both headquarters and tactical units.Versions of Elbit’s command and control platform have been delivered to many customers worldwide, including to the Australian Defence Forces.
GAZA VIOLENCE ESCALATION
Over 100 improvised bombs and grenades were hurled at Israeli troops during last Friday’s riots at the Gaza border. Some 20,000 Palestinians participated in the riots. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 7 Palestinians were killed during the riots.
Last Friday’s bloodshed on the Gaza border was the worst in almost two months. The level of violence appears to be a direct result of a decision by Hamas to escalate the clashes with Israel. The frequency of the Palestinian riots has increased to almost every day. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-deadly-gaza-clashes-hamas-is-deliberately-testing-israel-1.6514612
ANTI -HAMAS PROTESTS BY GAZANS
In recent weeks, Gaza residents have been protesting against Hamas, which took control of Gaza by force in 2007. Dozens called on Hamas to take care of its people or “disappear.”. Protesters claimed Gaza’s rulers had taken the Strip back to the Middle Ages. Demonstrators accused leading Hamas officials of corruption and of favouring the core of their supporters over the general population. One said, “They [Hamas] take care of their own people who are given work and food and gifts…They send people to die while the commanders [Hamas leaders] enjoy power supplies and luxuries.”
Nine of the 11 international employees of UNRWA in Gaza were evacuated to Israel on Monday after receiving death threats from local employees who face dismissal.
The emergency evacuation of nine foreign employees of UNRWA from Gaza to Israel on Monday was necessitated after Palestinian protesters surrounded and blocked a car containing UNRWA officials for an hour that day in a “threatening” and “dangerous” confrontation.
ARSON TERRORISM CONTINUES
An average of 12 fires a day in Southern Israel are caused by incendiary balloons from Gaza. In addition, terrorists are now launching balloons attached to improvised explosive devices. Since the cease-fire talks halted, “Hamas has loosened the reins and is now authorizing the operation of incendiary balloon terrorist squads,” a security official said.
Overnight Sunday, an incendiary balloon was found near an industrial zone in Modi’in, in Central Israel.
Four fires broke out last Thursday in the Gaza border region as a result of incendiary balloons launched into Israel from the strip.
The Israel Security Agency announced Wednesday that it had foiled efforts by Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets under the direction of operatives from Gaza.
An 8-year-old Palestinian boy threw a knife at an IDF soldier at a checkpoint near Route 443 before fleeing the scene on Thursday. a.
In his presentation to the UN last Thursday (27/9), P.M. Netanyahu revealed the locations of three secret sites near Beirut’s international airport where Iran and Hizbullah are converting inaccurate missiles into precision guided missiles.
The Israeli Prime Minister also told the UN General Assembly on Thursday that Iran was keeping 300 tons of nuclear equipment and material in a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran and that Iranian officials had been clearing some radioactive material out of the site and “spread it around Tehran.” He added: “Instead of coddling Iran’s dictators,” other countries should support the sanctions on Iran, accusing Europe of “appeasement”.
Israel’s MediWound has received a contract from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to adapt its lead product, a gel based on pineapple enzymes for the treatment of burns, to treat mustard gas injuries in case of a mass casualty event. MediWound’s first product, NexoBrid, is the first approved pharmacological treatment for the removal of scab tissue that is associated with severe burns. The drug is considered a new method of burn care management, with an ability to non-surgically and rapidly remove dead or damaged tissue earlier and without harming viable tissue.
Israeli company ICI Vision has developed Orama high-tech glasses with the potential to give millions of registered blind people the ability to see. Orama combines artificial intelligence, eye-tracking software and computer vision, including a built-in 3D camera to optimise the image in front of the user’s eyes. The eyewear is personalised to each user through eye mapping to locate healthy retinal cells.
COMMENT & OPINION
Dr. Mohammed Samhouri: I was a member of a hopeful group of technocrats who developed a clear roadmap for Gaza after Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and then watched as that plan collapsed. On Sep. 12, 2005, I was among the first people to enter the evacuated Jewish settlements.
The scene I observed in the ex-settlements that day was one of utter anarchy and total chaos. Tens of thousands of people from Gaza took what they could from the buildings the Israeli settlers had left behind – from pipes and doors to concrete and other basic building materials. The Palestinian police were nowhere in sight. By the end of the day, little was left.
Not even in our worst nightmares could we have envisioned Gaza as it stands today: a place torn by more than a decade of bitter Palestinian political division, three wars between Hamas and Israel, and near total isolation from the rest of the world.
One lesson is clear: technical solutions to Gaza’s complex problems, in the absence of a supportive political and security setting, are not likely to work. Yet this lesson and its policy implications don’t seem to be well understood today. The proposed solutions are all in the form of a “list of mega projects” to save Gaza’s collapsing economy.
Based on the experience of post-disengagement Gaza, these projects can be fully implemented only if Gaza’s political and security situation is stabilized first.
The writer, a Palestinian economist, was a member of a Palestinian technical team in charge of preparing Gaza for the day after disengagement in 2005.
Lior Haiat: Ever since 2008, Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel. Palestinian leaders repeatedly have shown that they will not miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Every time they negotiated with Israel and the process was nearing a tangible chance for peace, they aborted negotiations, to abort the peace process, and instead reverted to violence and terror. Every time Israel made concessions, the Palestinian leadership found a new excuse to avoid talks. Israel remains committed and willing to engage in meaningful negotiations without any preconditions in order to reach a stable and long lasting peace. The writer is the consul general of Israel in Miami.