This weeks news items
1. PM Netanyahu Slams ICC Decision Times of Israel Feb 6th Prime Minister Netanyahu has assailed the International Criminal Court for ruling it has jurisdiction to open a war crimes investigation against Israel, calling such a probe pure anti-Semitism and vowing to fight it. "When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism," PM Netanyahu said in a forceful English-language video sent out by his office. In a major decision Friday, a pretrial chamber of the ICC determined that The Hague has jurisdiction to open a criminal investigation against Israel and the Palestinians for war crimes alleged to have taken place in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. It now falls to the ICC's chief prosecutor to decide whether to launch an investigation, and she indicated in 2019 that she intends to do so. PM Netanyahu lamented that the court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people. He further asserted that the ICC is outrageously claiming that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime, a reference to the court potentially probing Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank. And, he added, "it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we are committing another war crime." At the same time, the prime minister complained that the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria who commit horrific atrocities almost daily. The Israeli leader vowed to fight this perversion of justice with all our might! Pray that the ICC will wake up to the serious mistake that they are making in this decision.
2. Israeli Hospital Covid Cure 96% Success Rate Times of Israel Feb 5th A new coronavirus treatment being developed at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Medical Center has success-fully completed phase 1 trials and appears to have helped numerous moderate-to-serious cases of COVID-19 quickly recover from the disease, the hospital said Friday. Hailing a huge breakthrough, the hospital said Prof. Nadir Arber's EXO-CD24 substance had been administered to 30 patients whose conditions were moderate or worse, and all 30 recovered 29 of them within three to five days. The medicine fights the cytokine storm a potentially lethal immune overreaction to the coronavirus infection that is believed to be responsible for much of the deaths associated with the disease. It uses exosomes tiny carrier sacs that shuttle materials between cells to deliver a protein called CD24 to the lungs, which Arber has spent decades researching. The preparation is inhaled once a day for a few minutes, for five days, the preparation is directed straight to the heart of the storm the lungs so unlike other formulas which selectively restrain a certain cytokine, or operate widely but cause many serious side effects, EXO-CD24 is administered locally, works broadly and without side effects. The medicine will now move on to further trial phases, but hospital officials were already hailing it as a possible game-changer in fighting serious COVID-19 illness. Ichilov director Roni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar, said the research is advanced and sophisticated and may save cor-onavirus patients. The results of the phase 1 trial are excellent and give us all confid-ence in the method [Arber] has been researching in his lab for many years. I am proud that at Ichilov we are possibly bringing a blue and white remedy to a terrible global pan-demic. Pray that this treatment will put Israel at the forefront of international Covid treatment.
3. Israel's Vaccination Drive Slows by 50% Times of Israel Feb 8th Even though vaccines are now being offered to all Israelis over the age of 16, the pace of inoculations has slowed dramatically, a senior official in the country's largest health provider said, accusing online fake news of promoting vaccine skepticism. At the beginning of the vaccination campaign we got used to inoculating between 100,000 and 120,000 people per day, and in the last few days we are barely reaching half of those figures, Kalanit Kaye, the manager of Clalit Heath organisation's vaccination drive, told the Ynet news site. "We are prepared, our centers are big and accessible, the process should be pretty simple on the whole, vaccines are being given for free, so I don't understand the people who don't come to get the shot. It Is a big mistake," she lamented. Israel's vaccination program with the Pfizer/BioNtech shot is ongoing, with 3,426,810 people having received the first dose as of Sunday. Of those, 2,016,351 had also received the second dose. Pray that the 100 million plus people in Israel and the nations who have been vaccinated will not suffer any long term health issues.
4. Latest Poll for Upcoming Israel Election World Israel News Feb 910th With six weeks left to Israe's March 23 national election, a poll by Israel's Channel 11 news released on Tuesday showed for the first time during the election campaign that Prime Minister Netanyahu is strengthening. The results of the latest poll showed that if the election had taken place now, Netanyahu could theoretically form a right-wing coalition government with a 62-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel's parliament. The poll showed that Netanyahu's Likud Party would receive 29 seats; the centrist Yesh Atid Party, 18 seats; the New Hope Party led by Likud breakaway Gideon Saar, 14; the right-wing Yemina Party, 13; the Arab Joint List. 9; ultra-Orthodox Shas party with 8 and United Torah Judaism, 7; the revived left-wing Labor Party, 7; nationalist Yisrael Beitenu Party, 6; right-wing Religious Zionism, 5; Blues and White, led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with only 4 seats plummeting from the 33 seats Gantz won in the previous March 2020 election. Under Israel's proportional representation system, parties must win at least 3.25% of the popular vote to get into the Knesset, where seats are divided according to the percentage of votes they received. Thus, a party that gets 10% of the popular vote would get 12 seats in parliament. Pray for a clear winner and a strong governent from the March election
5. IDF Chief: Israel Operating Inside Enemy Territory World Israel News Feb 9th IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi admitted Monday that Israel's military has been operating almost every week in enemy territory. In the past year, almost every week, we have worked in the depths of enemy territory to destroy weapons that were intended or planned to attack the State of Israel and its citizens," Kochavi said in a speech. Speaking at the annual ceremony of the 1997 helicopter disaster that claimed 73 lives, Kochavi noted that in the past year Israel has had a time of security and protection with the lowest death toll and quiet at the borders. "This is the result of hard work in all branches, in all commands and in all dimensions, 360 degrees around us 24/7," Kochavi said. We prevented intrusions in the north and south, prevented rocket fire, exposed many tunnels under the Gaza border, [and] prevented attacks in Judea and Samaria on a daily and weekly basis. Defense Minister Benny Gantz addressed the ceremony as well, also emphasizing that IDF's ongoing operations take place beyond Israel's borders. "Even today, the IDF operates and will continue to operate on the border line and far beyond it," Gantz said. Pray that angels are sent to watch over and protect the Israeli soldiers operating inside enemy territory.
6. PM Netanyahu: I Can Handle President Biden World Israel News Feb 11th
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that President Biden's time in office will bring challenges to Israel which only he is qualified to take on, during an interview with Channel 20 on Wednesday. Biden has not called PM Netanyahu for nearly one month since taking office, leaving political commentators wondering about the implications of the snub. Netanyahu downplayed the lack of communication, but suggested that Biden's presidency may pose a unique challenge for Israel. I have known Joe Biden for almost 40 years, and he is my personal friend," said PM Netanyahu. This doesn't mean there haven't been disagreements. There have been several. Maybe on the Iranian issue, maybe on the Palestinian issue. The question is, who will withstand the pressure, who will watch out for the interests of the State of Israel? I will ask differently who has already faced these pressures? I think the answer is clear. While PM Netanyahu remained diplomatic and refrained from saying Biden is soft on Iran, he has implied in the past that Israel and its regional partners in the Gulf are concerned about Biden re-entering the 2015 Nuclear Deal. Pray for wisdom and boldness as PM Netanyahu deals with the new American government of President Biden
7. Police Recover 7 Stolen Torah Scrolls Jerusalem Post Feb 11th
Sderot police officers immediately understood the significance of the theft of Torah scrolls and their great importance to the city's residents, including the police officers, and began to carry out a variety of covert investigations while combining technological means and other units in the Lachish area, which led to the identification of five suspects, said Israel Police on Thursday.After the arrests, the scrolls were all found at a farm in Moshav Noga. Immediately after the scrolls were identified, the policemen accompanied the scrolls back to their spot in the ark in the synagogue. "I thank the commander of the Sderot police, and the station policemen, for their hard and quick work in finding the holy books stolen from the Decker Synagogue," said Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi."