ISRAEL RECORDS NO NEW DAILY COVID DEATHS FOR FIRST TIME IN 10 MONTHS: According to the latest Health Ministry figures, no new COVID-19 daily deaths were reported Thursday in Israel for the first time in ten months.
In data released Friday, the death toll remained unchanged from the day before at 6,346. The last date there were no new fatalities was June 29, when morbidity levels remained subdued following the initial coronavirus wave. The ministry said of the 35,027 tests performed Thursday, 129 new cases were recorded, a positive test rate of 0.4 percent. The country has logged 837,870 confirmed infections since the pandemic began. (TOI / VFI News)
ISRAEL-UAE CONFERENCE UNDER THREAT OF TERRORISM: There was concern about terrorism at a joint Israel and United Arab Emirates influencer conference in Dubai in early April, participants told The Jerusalem Post.
According to Israeli participants in the four-day event, UAE security services had warned the organizers that there was intelligence indicating that Iran was interested in the event. “The organizers told us that UAE Security notified them that there was chatter about how the Iranians were aware we were in the Emirates,” Emily Schrader, founder of Social Lite Creative, said. To mitigate the threat, the organizers implemented several security precautions and notified the participants. (JPost / VFI News)
SYRIAN AIR-DEFENSE MISSILE FALLS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL; IAF STRIKES LAUNCHERS: A Syrian surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired at an Israeli Air Force fighter jet that had been involved in airstrikes on targets in Syria exploded in Israel’s southern Negev region early on Thursday.
Warning sirens went off in the region of the Bedouin village of Abu Qrenat, in the northwest Negev, said the Israel Defense Forces. Residents in the south and Jerusalem reported hearing a loud blast, according to a report by Mako. Soon afterward, the IAF “struck the battery from which the missile was launched and additional Syrian surface-to-air batteries in the area,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. (JNS / VFI News)
UN ATOMIC AGENCY: IRAN HAS INSTALLED ADDITIONAL ADVANCED CENTRIFUGES AT NATANZ: On Wednesday, the UN atomic agency said Iran has installed additional advanced centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear plant, the site of a recent blast blamed on Israel.
According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, seen by Reuters, Iran added two more cascades of IR-4 centrifuges and six clusters of IR-2m at its underground facility. The IAEA also confirmed that some of the centrifuges were in use and said the Islamic Republic plans to install another four cascades of the IR-4 at Natanz. “On 21 April 2021, the Agency verified at FEP that: … six cascades of up to 1,044 IR-2m centrifuges; and two cascades of up to 348 IR-4 centrifuges… were installed, of which a number were being used,” the report said. (TOI / VFI News)
UNEMPLOYMENT IN ISRAEL DROPS BELOW 10% FOR FIRST TIME SINCE PANDEMIC: Israel’s unemployment rate is falling faster than expected, dropping below 10% in March for the first time since before the pandemic. According to Israel Employment Services, the national unemployment rate reached 9.5% for March, compared to 14% in February.
Unemployment was 9.8% during the first half of March, and just 8.9% during the second half of the month, as Israelis began to enjoy the fruits of the economy’s reopening. Eilat, the southern tourist town that previously had the highest rate of unemployment in Israel, saw its unemployment rate drop by some 60% in March as tourism began to return. Following the announcement, Finance Minister Israel Katz instructed National Insurance Institute director-general, Meir Spiegler, not to reduce unpaid furlough payments by 10% until June 12, the day of when furlough payments for May will be made. (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAELI, UAE FIGHTER JETS FLY TOGETHER IN LARGE INTERNATIONAL EXERCISE IN GREECE: Israeli fighter jets were flying alongside Emirati aircraft last week as part of a major international aerial exercise hosted by Greece, simulating in-air dogfights, large airstrikes, and rescue operations, the Israeli military confirmed last Tuesday.
This is not the first time that Israeli and Emirati pilots have flown with one another — they both participated in a similar Greek-led exercise in 2017 and an American drill the year before — but it marks a rare case of open military cooperation between the two countries, even following last year’s landmark normalization agreement. Seven countries joined Greece in its Iniohos exercise this year: Cyprus, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, France, the United States, Spain, and Canada. The exercise kicked off last Sunday and was scheduled to last through last Friday. (TOI / VFI News)
SOLAR PANEL BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY COULD HELP INCREASE ENERGY PRODUCTION: Research from the Technion, Ben Gurion University, and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have made a breakthrough in better understanding semiconductors used in solar panels. The scientists were led by Professor Avner Rothschild and studied the efficiency of photoelectrochemical cells in producing energy.
Sunlight can be harvested through photovoltaic cells, which as the name indicates, transforms sunlight directly into energy (volts), and photoelectrochemical cells transform sunlight into hydrogen fuel. The photovoltaic cells are problematic in that they can only generate energy during daylight hours and use rechargeable batteries to store energy at night. This method is cost-inefficient and only a short-term solution. Photoelectrochemical cells however can store energy without exterior batteries; by using special semiconductors, light energy can split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be stored as fuel to later produce energy. (JPost / 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