Israel news summary

Israel News for 2-10-2021

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 6,062 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, putting the infection rate at 7.8%. There are currently 1,020 people hospitalized in serious condition and 317 on ventilators. There have been 5,223 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Over 3.6 million Israelis have already received the first dose of the vaccine, and over 2.2 million the second dose.

PM Netanyahu reiterated that the Golan would forever remain part of Israel. His remarks came after US Secretary of State Blinken said on Monday that he saw control of the Golan as being “of real importance to Israel’s security” but added, “Legal questions are something else and over time, if the situation were to change in Syria, that’s something we look at, but we are nowhere near that.” President Biden’s advisers have said that he would not withdraw U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.

An IDF intelligence report published Tuesday said that Hezbollah is looking to initiate a “limited offensive” against Israel for the first time since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.  The report says the group has a trained a “shock” unit, which it will utilize for a limited offensive lasting two to three days, without being dragged into an all-out war. To read more, click here.

Egypt yesterday opened its border with Gaza, at Rafah, indefinitely. Rafah is Gaza’s only passage to the outside world.

Likud today signed a surplus vote-sharing agreement with the far-right Religious Zionism party led by Betzalel Smotrich. Vote-sharing agreements, which are widely used in Israeli elections, allow parties to ensure that extra votes they win that don’t add up to a Knesset seat do not go to waste. Assuming that Religious Zionism passes the 3.25% vote threshold to enter the Knesset, any additional votes they get that do not add up to an additional seat will be transferred to Likud.

In the agreement, Religious Zionism vowed to not support anyone but Netanyahu as prime minister for the entire term of the 24th Knesset, while Likud promised to have representatives of Religious Zionism in any government formed by Netanyahu.

Israeli company Aleph Farms, in a joint statement with the Technion Institute of Technology, announced that it has made the world’s first laboratory cultivated rib-eye steak, with all the flavor and texture of regular meat. The company uses a unique three-dimensional bioprinting technique. The bioprinting technology uses “natural building blocks of meat” developed from real cow cells, which are then encouraged to grow, differentiate, and interact to obtain the texture and qualities of a real steak. The process involves no genetic engineering. Aleph expects it will take two to three years before the technology has advanced to a point where the meat will be available commercially. To read more, click here.