News from Israel – July 26, 2017

No. 58, July 26, 2017

Inside Israel

Two policemen killed in terror attack at Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem. Israeli Arabs open fire at police forces at the entrance to the Temple Mount and killed two Israeli policemen. Killed officers were identified as Ha’il Satawi and Kamil Shnaan, both Israeli Druze. Israeli security forces shoot and kill the attackers. Israel Police arrested three members of the Waqf (the Islamic trust managing the Temple Mount) on suspicion of aiding and abetting the terrorists. The attack prompted Israeli government to introduce new security measures on Temple Mount. The Waqf officials who administer the holy site called the security measures “Israeli aggression” and instigated several days of rioting.

Israeli father, son and daughter stabbed to death in West Bank home. A man and two of his children were killed while his wife was badly wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. A terrorist broke into their home and began stabbing the family as they ate their Shabbat dinner. An IDF soldier on leave in a nearby home responded to the screams and shot and wounded the terrorist. “This was an act of terror perpetrated by a human animal, infused with abhorrent hatred,” Netanyahu said in a statement, released minutes after the end of the Shabbat.

Intensive efforts to defuse crisis with Jordan over deadly embassy incident. A guard at one of the residences in the Israeli embassy in Jordan was stabbed in the stomach with a screwdriver by a worker moving furniture. The guard shot and killed the assailant. Another man at the scene – the owner of the compound – was injured and later succumbed to his wounds.

Avi Gabbay elected new leader of the Labor party. Labor party members offered their praise for freshly elected party chairman Avi Gabbay, after his surprise victory over veteran lawmaker Amir Peretz and the past chairman Isaac Herzog, describing it as a fresh start for the left-leaning party that has long-languished in the political doldrums.

Consumer Price Index drops by more than expected. Israel’s CPI fell by a surprising 0.7% in June, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported. Forecasters did expect a fall in the index but only by 0.2%. Prices of fresh fruit and produce fell 8.7% last month, clothing and footwear prices fell 5.4%.

International

UNESCO declares Hebron an endangered Palestinian site. UNESCO passed an anti-Israel resolution in a stormy session to have the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, inscribed as a Palestinian world heritage site in danger. Israel says the Hebron resolution — which refers to the city as “Islamic” — denies thousands of years of Jewish connection there. Watch Netanyahu’s comment on that resolution (with English subtitles).

US Senate to hold hearing on Taylor Force Act. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its first hearing on a bill that would completely cut aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists. The bill, titled the Taylor Force Act, was introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and has earned mostly Republican support. Some senators, both Republican and Democrats, suggested that revisions of the proposed Act are needed.

Shocking research: Biased US textbooks turn young Americans against Israel. Anti-Israel bias in the textbooks used by many American high schools may be to blame for the decrease in sympathy for Israel among young adults. According to the Brand Israel Group, only 54 percent of US college students lean more toward Israel than the Palestinians, down from 73 percent in 2010. The decrease was even sharper among Jewish college students, dropping from 84 percent to 57 percent.

Historic Israeli-Palestinian water deal. US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt announced that Israel and the Palestinians have reached an agreement concerning the long-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal, which includes the sale of 33 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority to relieve the water situation there.

PA terror payments skyrocketed in 2017. The Palestinian Authority has drastically increased the salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, a new report alleges, despite recent PA assurances to the Trump administration that such payments had ceased. In total, the Palestinian Authority spends 1,237B shekels ($350M) annually in payments to terrorists and their families.

Israel aiding 200,000 Syrians living near border. IDF disclosed that Israel has for the past year treated hundreds of Syrians and sent hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid in a new project dubbed “Operation Good Neighbor.” The initiative was launched in June 2016 with the goal of increasing civilian aid for Syrians while maintaining the principle of non-involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Culture and Lifestyle

8 reasons to love Israel in the summertime. As temperatures climb and the humidity soars during Israel’s holiday months, many Israelis escape the heat by traveling to cooler climates. But for the tourists who come visit, and the locals who stay at home, Israel’s summer has its very own special charms.

13 perfect photos of Israeli food. This is not your typical ‘hummus, falafel, shawarma’ food post. This is a collection of the true food of Israel.

Britney’s record-breaking concert.  US pop star Britney Spears gave her first-ever concert in Israel, performing in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park in temperatures of around 28° Celsius (82.4°F). With 60,000 tickets sold, it was the largest concert ever for a female artist in the history of Israel.

Song “Ha-Kol Patuach” (Everything is open). “I saw Lake Kinneret, sparkling in turquoise, and a purple dark wave clapped and splashed. I thought to myself: everything is still possible as long as we are singing here”. Enjoy!

Science and Technology

Measuring patient’s vital signs without any contact. Israeli startup offers revolutionary way to monitor heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration rate, lung sounds, muscle activity and blood glucose. The result of their decade-long research is a way to monitor patients’ vital signs without any physical contact – no more intrusive cables, wires, tubes or IVs.

Improvements in cancer surgery. MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical detects whether all cancerous material has been removed during breast cancer surgery. Now MarginProbe is to be extended for similar testing during surgery for prostate, colon, lung and pancreatic cancer. The company recently announced the closing of a new $12.3 million financing round.

Stiff race for top Israeli talent. In the Israeli tech industry, workers are in greater demand than supply as the 112 recruiting companies confirmed at the employment fair held at the private university IDC Herzliya. Also, many young people want the challenge of starting their own company rather than joining an existing one. The salary for an engineer in Israel is about $63,000, compared with a global average of $49,000, but still well below the $112,000 an engineer gets in Silicon Valley.

Small Israeli family firm hits the Target (and Amazon). One of Walmart’s smallest suppliers, the 200-employee company Bram Industries based in the southern city of Sderot also peddles its Life Story brand plastic tableware, housewares and storage products in American and European mega chains such as Target, TJ Maxx, Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, The Container Store, etc.

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