Israel Update: 7 September 2017
While some members of the IsraAID team continue recovery and clear-up work, others are leading stress relief and recreational activities at Houston shelters, community centres and schools, working with relatively large groups of adult and child flood victims, using art, movement therapy and mindfulness techniques. iAID, another Israeli humanitarian organization, is sending a team of volunteers to Texas…The organization aims to support the US relief efforts with “Start-up Nation” solutions, such as clean energy and clean water technologies, that can empower communities to repair themselves and better prepare for the next natural disaster.
The Israeli Embassy in the U.S. has joined with IsraAid and Movers 495, an American-Israeli moving company, to send several tons of aid by truck to Houston.
A team of volunteers from Israel’s Zaka search-and-rescue organization is in Houston to help with the clean up in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, assisting with tasks ranging from clearing debris to delivering food…On Monday, the team worked with Pastor Becky Keenan from the Gulf Meadows Church.
Israeli warplanes allegedly struck a facility in northern Syria today where the regime is said to have stockpiled chemical weapons and missiles. There was no immediate comment from theI.D.F.
According to a former national security adviser, there’s a strong probability that the Syrian military research centre was targeted because of concerns that Hezbollah’s leader Nassrallah had asked Damascus to hand over the facility to the Lebanon-based Shi’ite terror group. The facility has been known for many years as a centre for research and development for weapons systems, including chemical weapons.
A retired Israeli Maj.-Gen. said, “The attack sent three important messages. Israel won’t allow for empowerment and production of strategic arms; Israel intends to enforce its red lines, despite the fact that the great powers are ignoring them; and the presence of Russian air defence does not prevent airstrikes attributed to Israel.” Syrian opposition sources said the airstrike destroyed weapons stores including chemical-tipped missiles that were to be delivered to Hizbullah.
Shortly after the alleged Israeli strike on the Syrian scientific centre which is responsible for research and development of nuclear, biological, chemical and missile technology and weapons, Israel’s President Rivlin met German Chancellor Merkel and clarified that the weapons infrastructure that Hezbollah was building may require the State of Israel to respond.
HEZBOLLAH THREAT ON ISRAEL’S NORTHERN BORDER
Tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are staging a mock 10-day war against the Hezbollah terrorist group in northern Israel, marking the IDF’s largest exercise in nearly 20 years. Hezbollah, with its suspected arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and thousands of fighters, is seen by the IDF as its central threat…Israeli officials have raised alarms in recent months over increased Hezbollah activity in southern Lebanon, as well as plans for an Iranian missile factory to supply the terror group with more accurate rockets. They have also expressed misgivings over a ceasefire in southern Syria that they say allows Iran to establish a foothold along Israel’s northern border.
Nikki Haley (U.S. Ambassador to the UN): Last week, the UN Security Council voted to significantly strengthen its efforts to stop the Hizbullah terrorists in southern Lebanon. Our changes will make UNIFIL step up its patrols and inspections which will help disrupt Hizbullah’s illegal activity. Our changes require UNIFIL to report when it is prevented from seeing something it wants to inspect, so that when it is prevented from doing its job, the Security Council will know about it.
MUNICH MASSACRE – A MEMORIAL AFTER 45 YEARS
President Rivlin on Wednesday attended the inauguration in Munich of a memorial to the victims of the massacre at the Olympic Games there 45 years ago, and castigated the Palestinian Authority for its continued expressions of support for the terror act, which left 11 Israeli Olympians dead.
Israeli Border Police raided an arms factory in a West Bank village warehouse, used primarily to manufacture Carl Gustav-type and Kalashnikov rifles, last Thursday, seizing a cache of rifles, IDF uniforms, binoculars and ammunition. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said this “was one of the many operations taking place in Judea and Samaria to seize weapons being used in Israel by terrorist cells who are planning attacks.
Border Police officers arrested a Palestinian teenager at a checkpoint in Hebron on Wednesday after finding a knife in his possession
52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states have arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques. The U.S. delegation will participate in multiple counterterrorism training exercises etc.
102 Kenyans have been beneficiaries of a 12-month internship programme at the Arava International Center for Agriculture and Training in southern Israel to gain advanced knowledge in agriculture and food production. GreenArava is an Israeli company currently managing the Galana irrigation scheme in Kenya, where farming largely relies on erratic rains and three million people require food relief. Mohammed Abdi the group leader of the Kenyans says he learned more than food production. “Within Israel, Christians, Muslims and Jews live peacefully with each other. I have also met students from 102 countries, coming from different backgrounds. From the desert, I’ve learned that every challenge can be an opportunity.”
An Israeli tele-medicine company is looking to replace some doctor visits with a new device that allows patients an accurate self-examination from home. The Tytocare device allows patients to measure their own vital signs – heart rate or temperature – as well as to conduct examinations of organs such as ears, throat and lungs…The TytoHome package has FDA approval and is already marketed in the U.S. Israel’s Schneider Children’s Hospital compared the accuracy and quality of physical check-ups done by Tyto to those conducted by doctors and found almost no difference between the two types of examinations.
The U.S. Department of Defence is testing an Israeli drug designed to help the body recover after exposure to radiation in the case of nuclear fallout, to see if it can be administered before service members are exposed to radiation. The Israeli company Pluristem has partnered with the medical university at Fukushima, Japan, site of a 2011 nuclear meltdown, in developing the drug.
RightHear allows blind and visually impaired people to navigate malls, universities and hospitals by mimicking the function of a venue’s directory board and speaking to users about what’s nearby. It’s also integrated with ride sharing and taxi apps.
Dr. Avi Yitzhaki, the chief medical officer of the IDF Southern Command, on Thursday became the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to be promoted to the rank of colonel. Yitzhaki made aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia in 1994 at the age of 19. He completed medical studies at Ben-Gurion University.
Daniel Defur, who is blind, told the Israeli P.M. about his wish to serve in the IDF. After the P.M. contacted Special in Uniform, a programme that integrates young men and women with disabilities into the IDF, Daniel has enlisted and will serve on an air force base.
The UK is a leading partner of the Israeli scientific community – last year nearly 1,500 scientific publications included a UK and an Israeli researcher. One project BIRAX has invested 7 million pounds over the last five years in 15 collaborative UK-Israel projects tackling major global diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease.
TLV in LDN offers a unique opportunity to experience Tel Aviv’s rich cultural landscape in the UK’s capital city. Camden’s Roundhouse is the hub for this four-day showcase, with satellite events taking place across the city at locations including Cadogan Hall and The Coronet. Highlights include a live DJ set from Guy Gerber; performances and workshops by dance troupe Mayumana; an exhibition curated by internationally renowned artist Ori Gersht; and a food festival by esteemed Israeli chef Shaul Ben-Aderet.
Further information here: http://tlvinldn.org
Several dozen seals and seal impressions from the First Temple period, many with biblical-type names in ancient Hebrew text, have been found in this year’s excavations at the City of David, lending credence to the theory that Jerusalem was a major administrative capital of the Judean kingdom, say archaeologists exploring the site.
American TV personality Conan O’Brien, who is filming a documentary film Conan in Israel, which will be screened in the US later this month, told medical teams at Safed’s Ziv Medical Center that they “deserve a Nobel Peace Prize” for their treatment of Syrian wounded.
COMMENT & OPINION
Alan Baker: There are 40 or more ongoing conflict and occupation situations throughout the world, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Western Sahara, East Timor, East Congo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, and the Crimea…. The accepted rules of occupation are overly general and do not take into consideration the often unique political, legal, and historical status of the territory in dispute, as is the case regarding Israel…The language of occupation law has been politicized, and partisan political expressions such as “Occupied Palestinian Territories” have become common language by the UN and by such humanitarian organizations as the International Red Cross…This terminology has no legal basis and prejudges ongoing, agreed-upon, and internationally-endorsed negotiation issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Their use by humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross is incompatible with its own constitutional principles of neutrality and impartiality.
Alex Joffe: It has been claimed that Jews represent an alien population implanted into Palestine to usurp the land and displace the people. Yet a wealth of evidence demonstrates that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant; historical and now genetic documentation places Jews there over 2,000 years ago, and there is indisputable evidence of continual residence of Jews in the region…Palestinians have the right to define themselves as they see fit. What Palestinians cannot claim, however, is that they are Palestine’s indigenous population and the Jews are settler-colonialists. Palestinian genealogies that show their own tribes originating outside the Southern Levant are prima facie evidence of Arab settler-colonialism.