News From Israel – March 7, 2018

No. 71, March 7, 2018

Inside Israel

Israel celebrates Purim With marches, dancing and elaborate costumes, Israel dresses up as it celebrates the holiday of Purim, with some cities taking the opportunity to mark the state’s upcoming 70th anniversary. And more pictures here.

IDF foils 20 to 30 terrorist attacks a week. The IDF has thwarted many terrorist attacks in the West Bank in recent months, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said. Due to “extensive counterterrorism activities in the Central Command and especially in the city of Hebron, the IDF in the past months has foiled between 20 and 30 terrorist attacks a week… The security services are working hard so we can celebrate the Purim holiday quietly,” said Liberman.

Over 20,000 protest in Tel Aviv against plan to deport asylum seekers. More than 20,000 African asylum seekers and Israelis demonstrated next to the New Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv in protest of the government’s plan to deport the asylum seekers, which is set to begin in March.

Netanyahu: In the Middle East, ‘It is the strong who survive’. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Israel National Defense College course participants, imparting to them that in “our region … the chances that the weak will survive are not high. It is the strong who survive.” He underscored the necessity for a powerful Israel to face the challenges in the region.

Stock Exchange is down, but so is unemployment rate. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange fell 3% in February after rising 2.5% in January. Teva and Israel Chemicals led the declines. Meanwhile, unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in January, down from 4.0% in December 2017 – a figure not seen since the 1970s.


US Embassy in Jerusalem to open in May — in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary. The new US Embassy in Jerusalem will open in May 2018 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring independence. The Embassy will initially be located in Arnona, in south Jerusalem, on a compound that currently houses the consular operations of Consulate General Jerusalem.

Israel announces deal to sell $15 Billion worth of natural gas to Egypt. Israeli energy company Delek Drilling and its U.S. partner, Noble Energy, announced a $15 billion deal to supply natural gas to Egypt over a 10 year period. Delek’s chief executive said that the deal is the largest-ever export agreement for Israel’s nascent natural gas industry, and called it “great news” for both countries.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at the UN Security Council. In her speech to the Security Council, Amb. Haley said: “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.”

Culture and Lifestyle

In find of biblical proportions, proof of Prophet Isaiah believed unearthed. Chanced upon meters from the discovery of a seal identified with King Hezekiah, the minuscule clay piece bearing Isaiah’s name is thought to have been made by the prophet himself. “We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar in a press release announcing the breathtaking discovery.

The third most-educated adults in the world. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) has ranked Israel as the 3rd most educated country in adult education. 49.9% of Israeli adults between the age of 25 and 64 have completed some form of adult education – almost 4 percent above the US.

Granddaughter of Joe Lieberman makes aliyah. Granddaughter of former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman has moved to Israel. “I’ve wanted to make aliyah ever since my 8th grade school trip, and am overjoyed to have finally accomplished that goal,” she said. “Why would I live anywhere else? Israel is my home”.

Science and Technology

Intel casts $5 Billion ‘vote of confidence in Israeli economy’. Intel executives confirmed thatthe company would invest some $5 billion in expanding production at its Kiryat Gat chip plant. “Intel’s decision to continue to invest significant sums in Israel is a vote of confidence in the Israeli economy,” Economy Minister Eli Cohen said. “Intel’s operations in Israel in research and development and in advanced manufacturing are in line with the ministry’s policy of expanding exports and creating quality employment.”

As companies race forward in driverless car domination, Israeli tech shines. Autonomous vehicles are the technology of the future, and companies like Intel, Nvidia, Tesla and Google are racing ahead to secure their share of the pie. Efforts of these companies take advantage ofseveral Israeli startups. Intel bought Mobileye—and its plan for safe driverless cars—for $15.3 billion, Daimler opened a R&D Center, Alibaba invested in Nexar, and Bosch threw its hat in as well.

5-minute blood test to diagnose heart attack. Israeli startup Novamed has developed theSensAheart device which tests blood for antibodies produced in a heart attack. Existing blood tests take up to six hours to get a result, but SensAheart takes only five minutes, lessens damage to heart tissue and saves lives

Israeli digital forensics firm can now hack into almost any cellphone, tablet. The Israeli digital forensics firm Cellebrite claims it now has the ability to unlock almost any phone on the market, including iPhones installed with the latest software said to be of top-notch security, as well as tablets like iPads. The Petah Tikva-based company made international headlines in 2016 for helping US authorities crack the iPhone used by the terrorist who perpetrated the 2015 San Bernardino, California shooting.

In Depth

Netanyahu probes: A guide for the perplexed. Here is a short guide for the perplexed to unpack some of the key points and characters in the five ever-evolving probes implicating Netanyahu, top aides, or both.

Edited by:

Alex Drukarev

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