Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Where did Israelis catch corona?

From a report issued by the health ministry, the following statistics were stated

The majority (1,474, or 67%) of Israelis caught it at home.

In second place: schools (210, or 9.5%). Third place: events (123, or 5.6%).

Other places in which people became infected included religious establishments, such as 

- synagogues; yeshivot or mikvaot ritual baths (106, or 4.8%); 

- places of entertainment (including restaurants or coffee shops (89, or 4%); 

- work (48, or 2.2%); senior-living facilities (28, or 1.3%); 

- stores or malls (26, or 1.2%); 

- medical establishments (25, or 1.1%); 

- at a sports field (24, or 1.1%). 

At all other verified locations, fewer than 1% of patients caught the virus, including at swimming pools, where 0.2% of people caught the virus.

Conclusion!! We should  shut down the homes and schools and send everyone to the beach or restaurants !!

Monday, July 20, 2020


(Cross posted from Grandma'a Army)

Israel's management of the coronavirus epidemic is proving to be one of the most challenging events since the establishment of the state.

Meanwhile, IDF recruitment continues as usual, as does combat training, with adjustments made in order to comply with the guidelines of the Health Ministry. To date, 23 IDF soldiers have contracted the coronavirus, and 5,600 soldiers are in quarantine, of which 240 are “lone soldiers.”
With four grandchildren in the IDF, I was interested to hear from them how the coronavirus impacts on their army service:

Amitai, who is in the Armoured Corps, began an officer’s course 7 months ago and last week the concluding ceremony was held – for the first time, with no family or friends with whom to share their celebration. The course was carried out as always, beginning with the cadets from all of the ground forces. The subjects they studied were focused mainly on leadership, ethical values, command and basic warfare.

The coronavirus broke out less than two weeks after the different corps were returned to their home bases.  As a result, every combat unit was segregated outside the base.

For Amitai it was the hardest period he has experienced since joining the army. Having to distance themselves from the home base plus the feeling of uncertainty contributed to the stressful situation. They had no way of knowing when they could return to their base. Every Shabbat and the whole of Pesach were spent outside in isolation. In spite of the harsh conditions the onus of the training had to be maintained, since they were compelled to finish the course in the normal time.

Being confined together for so long, the whole platoon became like one big family and special bonds were formed. There was always a helping hand where the stronger members supported their weaker fellow soldiers.

They learned how to command a platoon of tanks – at night and in daytime, in built-up areas and in the open. They also learned how to fight jointly with all other ground forces, including the engineering fighting corps. 

As an officer, Amitai will now be commanding a division of the platoon in the advanced track of the fighter Armoured Corps.

Memi, who is the commander of a unit from a special commando corps, has been in the army for over four years. From the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, every unit was separated and slept in the training camp outside the base. They saw no-one from the other units for one and a half months. Every soldier wore a mask and special multi-use masks were sown for everyone. Now that the virus has become more severe, they are confined for a longer time to their separate units.

Ohad, who belongs to the same special commando corps, wrote me that training has been carried on as usual, except for the fact that  the units have been completely separated.

Adi is the officer in charge of 21 female soldier instructors whose job is to train the Armoured Corps fighters on the working of the  tank’s missiles  as well as its communication system. Apart from supervising the courses in which the  instructors are trained, Adi has to take care of all their needs and is responsible for both their physical and emotional welfare.

Immediately after the coronavirus break out, Adi was confined to the base for seven weeks. She didn't have a moment during that time, as an officer, to take a break from her regular duties and attending to the wellbeing of her sister soldiers, some of whom found the enforced "shut-in" very difficult. Plus the cramped conditions and communal showers, toilets, etc. The hardest for all, including Adi, was being kept so far away from home, family, and friends. 

On the positive side, they also had time for extracurricular activities which Adi organised into upgrading their physical fitness with sports, and gymnastics. She also arranged several  “fun” evenings for the instructors and the staff officers – adding to the strengthening of the group. 

As the “people’s army,” the IDF is the most significant potential resource available to the State of Israel. It has abundant resources and capabilities; manifests flexible operability; experienced in managing mass emergencies on a national level; and perceived by the Israeli population as its most trustworthy institution.

Pro-Israel Saudi Journalist ‘Kidnapped’ by Authorities, Threatened with 10-Year Term

Saudi journalist Abdulhameed Al-Ghobain says he received a lengthy prison sentence for publicly voicing support for Israel without government approval.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A Saudi Arabian journalist known for his open support of Israel and criticism of the Palestinians was arrested and jailed by Saudi authorities and faces a 10-year jail term, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar Ilan University reported Sunday.

Saudi journalist Abdulhameed Al-Ghobain has been interviewed numerous times by both the international media and Israeli television, and he now faces trumped-up charges of committing espionage on behalf of a foreign country and falsifying documents to obtain Saudi citizenship, said Dr. Edy Cohen, an expert on inter-Arab relations and the Arab-Israeli conflict at BESA.

That “foreign country” is almost certainly Israel, Cohen said.

Last year Al-Ghobain was the first Saudi national to have an op-ed printed in an Israeli newspaper, winning him a huge fan base in the Jewish state.

“Saudi Arabia seeks good relations with Israel and the Jewish people and a fair, just, lasting, and prosperous peace for the region. Some call it ‘normalization’; I call it common sense,” Al-Ghobain wrote in Israel Hayom.

Interviewed from Riyadh, Al-Ghobain “has criticized both the Palestinians and Iran and has spoken openly about his support for Israel’s proposed sovereignty plan for parts of the West Bank. He now languishes in prison on false allegations and faces a possible sentence of at least 10 years,” Cohen said.

“No Saudi can express himself or herself freely. ‘Big Brother’ is watching and listening to every word. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who ran afoul of the Saudi leadership, is still a recent memory. There is no such thing as a Saudi opposition party,” Cohen said, noting that Al-Ghobain did not oppose the Saudi regime, but embarrassed the Saudi leadership by voicing contrary opinions.

On June 17, 2020, just days before his arrest, Al-Ghobain feared for his safety and posted “I’m being kidnapped.” That was his last post. It was deleted a few days ago, though his account still exists he has not been heard from since.

Cohen said Al-Ghobain’s abduction “illustrates the lack of freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia… Perhaps he was ahead of his time, and will yet be seen as a positive example.”

Monday, July 13, 2020

Hamas naval commander flees Gaza with “classified materials”

The Israeli security services managed to successfully retrieve sensitive data from under the Iranian noses. Now In a recent report, it was stated that a Hamas naval commander fled the coastal enclave with “classified materials” and is suspected of “collaborating” with Israel.

The report added that the individual is suspected of collaborating with Israel and referred to him as the second senior Hamas operative suspected of cooperating with Israel in recent days.

The report cited an Arabic news site called Amad, which referred to the escaped Hamas official as the head of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ naval commando unit. Amad reported that the commander left the Gaza Strip in an Israeli boat, carrying cash and surveillance technology, in addition to the laptop.

In the wake of this incident, Hamas reportedly embarked on a wave of arrests, snatching up dozens of suspects and seizing $500,000 in cash, in addition to communications equipment. The investigation appears to point to the potential existence of other senior Hamas commanders involved in espionage activities with Israel.

The report also discussed another Hamas operative accused of collaborating with Israel, dubbed “Mahmoud,” who allegedly played a leading role in Hamas’ communications networks and in training terrorists in their use. It is claimed “Mahmoud” began his relationship with Israeli operatives over a decade ago, with his role recently exposed due to a botched currency hand-off with his brother, who was detained by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The report from Gaza arrived about a week after an article in a Hezbollah-linked newspaper in Lebanon called Al-Ahbar claimed that Hamas had discovered a “plot by Israeli intelligence services” to strike Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

IDF Technology Creates ‘Safest Car Seat Ever’

The seat for children is based on the same technology used to keep soldiers in military vehicles safe.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

The Israeli company BabyArk announced Tuesday it has been awarded a €2.5 million grant from the European Union to develop “the safest car seat ever created” for children.

BabyArk knows about safety – the “smart” car seats will be produced based on breakthrough multiple-patented technology developed by Mobius with the goal of reducing the injuries that happen to the 1.3 million children who are involved in motor vehicle crashes each year. Shockingly, the company says car crashes are the leading cause of death and injury among infants where in Europe alone some 700 children are killed yearly on the roads and 80,000 are injured.

“All parents believe their children are their most precious gift but fail to realize that their kids are facing real risk while sitting in a standard car seat,” said Mindel, BabyArk’s CEO, adding that car seat technology hasn’t changed for more than a decade, “resulting in tragic life loss and economic damage.”

The company claims that the BabyArk car seat will increase safety by a factor of four compared to statutory requirements and be twice as safe as the top products currently on the market, while at the same time far superior in terms of usability.

“Our mission is to introduce the most advanced technologies and design to set a new level of safety that will reduce child mortality and injuries significantly,” Mindel said. “Potential users are already showing great interest in BabyArk’s solutions, which aim to revolutionize the traditional safety seat industry.”

Mindel says his company invested heavily in R & D to develop a spring-like energy absorption technology that converts kinetic energy to plastic deformation, meaning dangerous energy is absorbed, thus substantially reducing head trauma and severe infant injuries.

Instead of just strapping it to a seat belt, the BabyArk seat uses a special mechanism to anchor the seat to the vehicle’s frame, based on the same special safety seats developed by Mobius for armored vehicles for the most extreme wartime environments

Monday, July 6, 2020

EU hypocritically threatens to penalize Israel over sovereignty.

If Israel declares sovereignty over settlements, the EU has threatened to retaliate with boycotts of diplomatic visits and cancellation of billions in grants for research.

The European Union is planning to impose penalties if Israel puts into action plans to apply sovereignty to settlements in Judea and Samaria it was reported Sunday.

The EU and many of its members have voiced their objection to Israel making any ‘unilateral’ steps in regards to settlements, saying that doing so is a serious threat to the future of the two-state solution. The EU’s unilateral actions iof illegal construction in area C is disregarded.

Oded Eran, Israel’s former ambassador to the EU, and former Israeli ambassador to Germany Shimon Stein say that “declaring the application of sovereignty will bring condemnation and possibly even punishments.”

Stein and Eran noted that the EU doesn’t have the ability to cause significant economic damage to Israel that would discourage the Israeli government from deciding to extend sovereignty, but at the same time they pointed out if the Democrats win the November presidential elections, the European position must be taken into account.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Israel's Rafael, IAI work with UAE counterpart to combat coronavirus

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) leading technology company Group 42 (G42) has, in a historic move, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Rafael) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The three companies plan on exploring collaborations in research and development in order to offer effective solutions against COVID-19.

The companies celebrated their cooperation in a virtual signing ceremony and intend to use their fields of expertise and technologies to develop medical initiatives to combat coronavirus.

“At G42, we embrace international cooperation as a way to develop new and innovative technological solutions for the public good,” said G42 CEO Peng Xiao. “The UAE has led by example in the global collaborative effort to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and our company is privileged to follow the lead and share resources and expertise with Rafael and IAI for such a significant cause.”

UAE’s G42 has been working hard since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to provide effective solutions relating to the deadly virus, including a recent end-to-end detection solution found in cooperation with Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

Rafael is world-famous for its advanced defense systems, including the recent development of a high-powered laser system that detects, identifies and intercepts moving targets, allowing for advanced security of air space from hostile drones.

IAI has also been working hard in the field of technological defense, recently signing on a cooperation agreement with a European power that had not been named to provide them with an advanced special mission aircraft that is primarily used for strategic intelligence.