VFI News July 24, 2020

Israeli Nurses: Without Reinforcements by Winter, More Will Die

Every morning, Yehudit Isaacs leaves her home in the Shomron before 6 a.m. and drives to Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, where she serves as head nurse of the hospital’s emergency room. She said she doesn’t even see her six children, who range in age between one-and-a-half and 14, until 6 p.m., and sometimes not until after 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

The phone rings 24/7 – on Shabbat and holidays, during vacation days – with staff calling for professional advice or assistance, she explained. And since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, “it all got much worse – much, much more intense,” she said.

During the first wave, Isaacs caught coronavirus, along with her husband and four of her children. She stayed in isolation for three weeks. When she recovered, she returned to the ER frontlines immediately – leaving her sick kids at home. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bless the nurses of Israel with good health—and as much help as they need—in order to keep people safe and healthy in these uncertain times.”

Israel Reimposes Restrictions Amid Explosion of New Cases

Israeli officials hoping to halt a rise in coronavirus cases announced sweeping new restrictions Friday, including who can use gyms and which businesses can stay open on weekends.

The measures being imposed by the Israeli government come amid 1,900 new reported infections Thursday. By late May, Israel had largely contained its coronavirus outbreak following a two-month lockdown — but cases are now on the rise again as the restrictions lifted.

Under new measures, gyms and exercise studios will be closed except for use by competitive athletes. Beaches will be closed on weekends, beginning later this month.

Stores, malls, barbershops, beauty salons, and tourist sites will close on weekends, starting Friday. And public gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors or 20 outside.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the government also said restaurants would have until early Tuesday to switch to takeout and delivery only.

Any violations are to be considered a criminal offense. (Fox / VFI News)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. —Ephesians 4:1-3

Israeli Doctors Aided by Robots During Coronavirus Outbreak

Orthopedic surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus recently welcomed a newcomer to their team.

She’s incredibly efficient, never needs a coffee break, doesn’t complain about the long hours, and isn’t worried about catching COVID-19.

That’s because she’s a robot.

Called ROSA, short for Robotic Surgical Assistant, the diminutive white-and-blue robot already has proved her value in the operating room. Since ROSA’s arrival last year, thanks to a grant from USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, she has helped Hadassah replace the knees of 20 patients.

“ROSA doesn’t do the work instead of me, but brings me to the right position,” said Liebergall, whose department performs more than 300 knee replacements annually. “It guides me where to cut the bone and at which angle — and it gets that information from the patient’s anatomy.” (INN / VFI News)

Iran Report: Up to 25 Million Covid-19 Cases Since Outbreak

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani estimated that up to 25 million people in the country have been infected with coronavirus - nearly double the official worldwide tally.

Despite his estimate as well as urging citizens to take precautions, the country will not reimpose lockdown restrictions.

Rouhani also said he believes an additional 30 to 35 million people could be infected in the coming months. Iran’s population is around 81 million people. He also said more than 200,000 people have been hospitalized, and the report predicts that that number will soon be "twice as many as we have seen in the last 150 days.”

Faced with a spike of 2,166 cases on Saturday and 188 deaths in 24 hours, authorities in Tehran have closed some public spaces such as coffee shops, zoos, amusement parks, boarding schools, and indoor swimming pools and banned religious and cultural gatherings for one week.

It remains the hardest-hit country in the Middle East. (Fox / VFI News)

You have rejected me, declares the Lord; you keep going backward, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you— I am weary of relenting. —Jeremiah 15:6

“God, we ask that you bring sense and wisdom to the leadership within Iran, so that the innocent people living there might find relief from their government’s dangerously misguided intentions.”

Hamas Admits Naval Officer Spied for Israel

After denying such reports, Hamas has now confirmed that one of its naval commanders fled to Israel after providing it with intelligence.

Abu Mohammed, a Hamas military spokesman, told The Media Line that the defector was a junior officer in the organization’s highly regarded naval unit.

The daring escape was first reported on Saturday by the Saudi news channel Al Arabiya, which said the officer and his brother escaped with a laptop and surveillance equipment as part of a 72-hour operation led by Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Hamas immediately issued a statement calling the report "fake news" benefitting Israel, and harshly criticized the news outlet.

Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia has been trying to quash. The kingdom has also drawn closer to Israel in recent years although the countries do not maintain official ties. (JPost / VFI News)

Russia Steps Up Saber Rattling with Massive Military Drill

Russia completed a massive combat readiness check after the snap drill was called for by President Vladimir Putin.

The drills began on July 17 with the surprise decision. Units from the Southern and Western military districts, including marine infantry and Northern and Pacific fleets were all involved. Airborne forces were also deployed.

This looks like it was a massive exercise and Russia’s TASS news agency says 56 separate drills took place at 52 training ranges. In total, some 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft, and 26,000 vehicles and equipment, as well as 100 warships and support vessels participated. Russia says the surprise inspection came in relation to various terrorist threats and the Kavkav 2020 exercise. It also came amid Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes that began in mid-July.

Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that the drill was not aimed at other countries. However, the reality is that Russia and the US have been having increased tensions with several incidents involving aircraft interceptions in both the Mediterranean and Pacific. (JPost / VFI News)

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. —Proverbs 16:5

“God, we ask that you spare us the horror of another world war. We thank you that you have the kingdoms of this earth in your hands and that ultimately you are in control.”

World Jewish Population Over 14M, 80% Unconnected

The Jewish population of the world is 14,410,700, Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevitch told the Knesset Absorption, Immigration and Diaspora Affairs Committee in her ministry’s annual report to the committee.

The Jewish community in Israel is the largest, at 6,740,000, followed by North America, with 6,088,000. Europe is estimated to have 1,072,400 Jews, South America has 324,000, Asia (excluding Israel) has 300,000, Australia and New Zealand have 120,000 and Africa has 74,000.

Eighty percent of Diaspora Jews do not feel connected to Judaism and their Jewishness, Diaspora Affairs Ministry director-general Dvir Kahana told the committee.

Committee chairman David Bitan (Likud) said he was most concerned about small Jewish communities that cannot sustain themselves. He said he had received a commitment from Finance Minister Israel Katz to allocate NIS 20 million in the next state budget for such communities and that he had asked the Jewish Agency to pledge a similar amount.

“If we don’t strengthen the communities in the Diaspora, there will not be potential immigrants left to bring,” Bitan said. (JPost / VFI News)

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land. —Joel 3:2

“God, we ask that you help all your children find the support they need throughout the world—to live in safety, good health, and free from oppression.”

Key Site from Biblical Kings’ Era Discovered Near US Embassy in Jerusalem

A major archaeological site from the time of biblical kings was unveiled near the US embassy in Jerusalem.

An impressive structure built of concentric walls was uncovered during the preparation works for building a new residential area in the neighborhood of Arnona.

The size and design of the ancient facility support the public nature of its purpose. Moreover, the archaeologists found over 100 stamped jar handles, featuring the inscription “to the king” in ancient Hebrew script and mentioning several names of cities in the Kingdom of Judah, including Hebron, Ziph, and Socho. The stamped jars were generally used for tax collection.

The researchers believe that the site dates back to the time of King Hezekiah and Menashe, between the 8th and the middle of the 7th century BCE.

"This is one of the most significant discoveries from the period of the Kings in Jerusalem made in recent years,” IAA archaeologist and directors of the excavation Neria Sapir and Nathan Ben-Ari commented in a press release. (JPost / VFI News)