NETANYAHU: WE’RE AT THE HEIGHT OF A WAR: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a special statement to the nation Thursday night in preparation for the tightening of the lockdown restrictions tomorrow afternoon.
After expressing appreciation for the dedication of health personnel and citizens who lend a hand to others in need, he said: “These lockdown measures are not easy, but saving lives comes first. This is a national emergency. We are at the height of an ongoing war – the Corona War. The entire world is in the throes of the pandemic. The plague is also expected, unfortunately, to take an additional heavy toll in human lives. I am sorry but this is the truth,” Netanyahu said. “There is one simple rule — when you open up the economy, the morbidity goes up. Unfortunately, with the removal of the restrictions, there is a gradual slackening in adherence to health regulations. Those who led this have been populist politicians,” he added. “There is a limit to every trick, this is about human life,” Netanyahu stated. (INN / VFI News)
GANTZ: WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES: Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a statement to the citizens of Israel Thursday evening ahead of the expansion of the lockdown restrictions Friday.
“We are in one of the most difficult crises we have ever known. We are fighting for the lives of the citizens of Israel. I refuse to be drawn into populism, obsessions, or cynicism, but instead to focus on saving lives and saving society,” Gantz said. “The decision to open the economy was too early, the decision to transfer the responsibility for cutting off the chain of infection to the IDF came too late,” the defense minister added. “This is not a struggle between protesters and worshipers, this is not a virus that only affects the Haredim or secular. This is a war for our lives, the incitement encouraged by certain parties interested in schisms between parts of the people must not prevail.” (INN / VFI News)
AIRBORNE COVID-19 PARTICLE FILTER UNDER DEVELOPMENT: Laser-induced graphene (LIG) technology, developed by a partnership between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Houston-based Rice University, is to be commercialized to make filtration systems that can filter out airborne COVID-19 particles.
The commercialization will be done by LIGC Application Ltd., a leader in the field of graphene commercialization, which focuses on adapting the massive and diverse potential of graphene for the commercial sector. “For the past five years, our lab at the BGU Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research has focused on the development of LIG, specifically in antimicrobial filtration and environmental applications,” BGU’s Dr. Chris Arnusch said in a statement. “We are excited to be commercializing our technology in a number of air filtration products for COVID-19 and other specialized filtration applications.” (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN, TURKEY, PALESTINIANS SPEAKING AGAINST PEACE: Gulf Arab countries are moving toward normalization with Israel, but Iran, Turkey, and the Palestinians are “speaking against peace,” Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said on Thursday.
“In the previous week, we saw a new Middle East, new peace agreements, and I am sure there will be more to follow after,” he said via videoconference. “We see a dramatic change in the Middle East. We see a coalition of peace – with Israel, the UAE, with Bahrain, with Egypt and more countries that will come under the umbrella of the US.” “On the other end, we see Iran, Turkey and the Palestinians” publicly condemning the normalization trend, he said. Nevertheless, Cohen said the deals foreshadowed a new era. Prior peace deals were with Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel has borders and had fought wars, he said. (JPost / VFI News)
SAUDIS URGED UAE AND BAHRAIN TO NORMALIZE WITH ISRAEL: As the UAE and Bahrain prepared to sign a deal to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel this summer, Saudi Arabia was quietly urging them on.
For several months before the deals were signed at the White House, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had been laying out his rationale for a pact that would overturn regional policies towards long-term foe Iran. While a pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia is growing closer, Prince Mohammed is unlikely to agree to anything this year, three sources close to the royal court said. Instead, the Kingdom is likely to continue its role of urging regional allies across the line – effectively in its name. Sudan and Oman are firm favorites to strike a deal before the year is out, but Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are likely to bide their time and hold out for bigger prizes. (INN / VFI News)
WOMEN’S NAMES TO BE CENSORED ON ISRAELI NEIGHBORHOOD STREET SIGNS: The Beit Shemesh city council decided on Wednesday to leave women’s first names off new street signs in the new neighborhood of Neveh Shamir as part of a deal between secular and Haredi council members, according to Israel Hayom.
Originally, the plan for the new neighborhood was to name the streets after Haredi figures and subjects, but the plan later changed to include Sarah Aaronsohn and Anne Frank, although their first names will only be written in small print on the signs. The new neighborhood is being built for the general public, not just the Haredi public, but Haredi representatives make up a majority on the city council leading to the decision to make the first names of Aaronsohn and Frank less visible. (JPost / VFI News)
CZECH MILITARY TO USE ISRAELI AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS: Following an international tender process that lasted several years, the Czech Ministry of Defense informed the Directorate of International Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) in the Israel Ministry of Defense, of its decision to equip its military with Israeli air defense systems.
The Czech government approved the launch of procurement negotiations for four Israeli “SPYDER” batteries, within the framework of a GTG agreement between the two countries. Israel was selected as the sole supplier for the project and the expected agreement between the countries’ defense ministries is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. “We thank the Czech government for their partnership”, said Defense Minister Benny Gantz, “and for the decision to equip their military with Israeli air defense systems. This is another significant step in strengthening security relations between our two countries, and it is also great news for Israeli defense industries during such a complex period.” (INN / VFI News)
DUBAI RABBINATE RELEASES GLATT KOSHER MEALS: The Jewish community in the UAE continues re-establishing its religious lifestyle following the country’s peace agreement with Israel.
The slaughter of about 2,500 poultry was carried out for the country’s Jews as well as hotels in Dubai seeking strictly kosher food for the large number of Jewish businessmen visiting the country. Israeli citizens expected to arrive in the Gulf kingdom in the near future are also expected to benefit from the operation. The ritual slaughter was carried out by butcher Rabbi Mendel Duchman and supervised by Rabbi Mandy Hitrik of Istanbul, who heads Turkey’s rabbinate’s kosher slaughter system, and took place in one of the largest, most modern slaughterhouses in Dubai. (INN / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff