Israel Update: 9.8.2018


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Israel was hit by a sustained attack of over 200 rockets and mortars that were fired from Gaza Wednesday night and Thursday, injuring at least 19 civilians, including one woman who suffered serious chest and limb injuries, in the worst violence since 2014.Dozens more suffered panic attacks as several missiles struck the southern Israeli city of Sderot  and the Gaza Three pregnant women went into premature labour.  Two homes and a factory in Sderot were hit by shrapnel, as well as a home in Hof Ashkelon Rocket sirens sounded throughout southern Israel overnight and on Thursday ,including Beersheba and Ashkelon, as rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip entered deeper into Israeli territory. A rocket on Thursday afternoon struck near Beersheba, some 43 km from the Gaza Strip – the longest reach of a Hamas rocket since 2014.
At the time of writing (Thursday evening) Israel is taking retaliatory action striking terror targets in Gaza.

Compiled from various Israeli media sources including,7340,L-5325027,00.html



Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon issued a scathing complaint against BBC News on Thursday over an article headlined “Israeli Air Strikes ‘Kill Pregnant Woman and Baby’,” while omitting mention of the more than 180 rockets fired by Palestinians at Israel that preceded the retaliatory airstrikes and injured at least 11 Israeli civilians. Nahshon wrote on Twitter, “This title is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality (that’s the polite equivalent of ‘this is a LIE’ if you don’t get it). Israelis were targeted by Hamas and IDF acts to protect them.”



Residents of the Israeli town of Sderot described the desperate dash to safety as 180 rockets, fired from Gaza, rained down on Israel. Residents have 15 seconds from the moment the warning siren sounds to get themselves – and their families – into bomb shelters or reinforced rooms in their homes.A Sderot resident described how she and her husband dashed to get their seven children into their family’s reinforced room as they heard explosions around them. “I ran and grabbed the baby. The rest of the children ran but didn’t arrive in time. We started to hear explosions and we continued getting the children into the reinforced room. Y ou have to choose which of your children you save. I grabbed the baby and the two-year old and ran o the shelter.”


Gunfire emanating from near the border fence with Gaza on Tuesday had resulted in an IDF response targeting a Hamas position. Hamas said two of its members were killed in the strike & another six injured, while  claiming that the shots were part of a drill.



A series of photos:  “The Effects of Arson Kites on the South of Israel,”


On Saturday, Israeli firefighters battled 10 fires in areas adjacent to Gaza and over 30 fires on Friday sparked by incendiary balloon


Six fires broke out in the Gaza periphery on Sunday.,7340,L-5323128,00.html


The Gaza region experienced ten fires caused by incendiary balloons sent from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday,7340,L-5324489,00.html



The Achva Halva factory  in the Ariel Industrial Zone in the West Bank employs 240 people, 60% of whom are Palestinians. Yoav Mallach, the factory’s operations manager. says “Here everyone is equal: there is no religion, no history. Keep everything, all the conflict outside. Here everyone works in complete harmony.”*    Mujahed Ahmed, packagingdepartment manager said, “I enjoy working here. There are no Palestinians, no Israelis; everyone is working together…” 65 Palestinians and 35 Israelis work at Lipski Plastics in Barkan’s industrial area. CEO Yehuda Cohen said. “I found that if you give a Palestinian employee a fair salary, conditions and respect, you get wonderful people. It’s a win-win situation: I need workers and the workers need work.”


(* I have visited Achva factory and can verify this report – HRG)


Lt.-Col. Dr. Ido Dachtman’s job is to provide emergency medical treatment to both Israelis and Palestinians alike in the West Bank.
“We are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there is a civilian with a heart attack, if there’s a terror attack, we are always in a state of readiness.” So far this year, some 2,000 people – half of them Palestinian – have been treated by the Israeli army.




The Tunisian Chess Federation has issued a letter stating that players from all countries are invited, “without exception,” to an international chess championship it will host next year.The World Chess Federation had threatened to revoke Tunisia’s hosting privileges if the country did not issue visas to  European champion Liel Levitan, 7, and other Israelis. Tunisia’s current policy bars entry to Israelis.




Visually impaired people using the Orcan MyEye device can point to an object and it will tell them what is in front of them, using artificial intelligence. It can scan a page in a book and read it to the user. It does the same for money notes, grocery products and bus signs. It also tells time.The user can take a picture of the person in front of him, record their name, and every time that person appears in front of them, the device will announce it.  The founders of Jerusalem-based Orcam, are also the founders of Mobileye, a world leader in autonomous driving software.


A small Israeli company Inpris has developed technology which allows drivers to control music, phone calls, messaging, and navigation in their car without taking their eyes off the road. The technology understands what drivers want to do simply by following the direction of their fingers on the screen.




The first woman to command an Israel Air Force squadron was appointed  on Tuesday. as commander of the 122 Squadron, the IAF’s intelligence unit in the South, flying Gulfstream 5 jets.


A record number of 1,000 women enlisted in IDF combat units this year



Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, 29, won the women’s 10,000-metre race at the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin Wednesday.Born in Kenya, she first came to Israel in 2008, working as a caretaker at Kenya’s embassy in Tel Aviv. She received Israeli citizenship in 2016.




Renee Garfinkel:Unlike most arsonists, those attacking Israel are not loners. They are adults and children, recruited and organized by terrorist leaders, Hamas and others, to set fire to the villages of southern Israel. Fields, forests and farms have suffered damage estimated at 1.4 million dollars, and rising.The arsonists’ disregard, even contempt for land contrasts sharply with Israel’s culture of nurturing its land…The land itself is revered. The land is an active character is Israeli mythology, in its history, religion and culture. But for Gazan arsonists, as for arsonists elsewhere, land is merely a stage for drama. The arsonist tale has no mercy for living forests and trees. Yet, oddly,  the Palestinian leadership who back the arsonists claims to love the land they are destroying…Their drama, playing out daily on a fragile ecology, is simple: “If I can’t have it, then no one will have it.”


Dave Harden: During the Second Intifada, Jenin was the most dangerous city in the West Bank, home to at least 28 suicide bombers who killed 124 Israelis. Then in the mid-2000s, in the northern West Bank along the Jenin-Jalameh corridor close to northern Israel, the U.S. and Israel promoted trade and economic opportunity to stabilize the region and marginalize Palestinian rejectionists and militias.The Americans provided $10 million in assistance for the Jenin trading corridor that leveraged an estimated $500 million of sustained, private sector trade which fundamentally changed the economic, security, and social fabric of the northern West Bank. During the 2014 wave of lone-wolf attackers, almost none were from Jenin. Massive continued humanitarian aid, as being discussed for Gaza, alleviates suffering but creates a welfare dependent, failed society. To reboot Gaza, look to Jenin in the West Bank where economic opportunity has changed almost everything



Evelyn Gordon: Much of the criticism of Israel’s new nation-state law stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of Israel’s constitutional system. The new law isn’t meant to be read in isolation, but in concert with other Basic Laws enshrining Israel’s democratic system.…it’s ridiculous to claim that the nation-state law undermines democracy, equality or minority rights merely because those terms don’t appear in it, given that several other Basic Laws already address these issues. The new law doesn’t supersede the earlier ones; it’s meant to be read in concert with them…The only thing it prohibits is an Arab state within Israel’s borders, which is problematiconly if you favour replacing Israel with another Arab state.

Sara Greenberg: The new law does not erode a single right or protection of any minority. It actually reaffirms Israel’s commitment to minority groups…the new law also, for the first time, constitutionally enshrines Arabic as a language with “special status.” It affirms that “the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect will not be harmed.” This flatly contradicts the misrepresentations of the law as changing the status of Arabic, and goes far beyond what many liberal democracies do for minority languages. Arabic will continue to appear on Israel’s road signs, currency and many other symbols of state sovereignty.