VFI News November 13, 2020

IDF on Alert for Attack on 1st Anniversary of Killing

The Israel Defense Forces went on heightened alert Wednesday, sending additional air defenses to southern Israel, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, out of concerns the terror group may mark the occasion with an attack.

In addition to more Iron Dome missile defense batteries deployed to the south, flights into and out of Israel appeared to have been directed to use Ben Gurion International Airport’s northern paths, keeping them farther from the Gaza Strip. (TOI / VFI News)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. - Psalm 4:8

UAE Ambassador 'Excited,’ ‘Optimistic' About Israel Ties

United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba spoke about the Abraham Accords and the changing political makeup of the Middle East in an address to the online session of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) Wednesday.

Addressing the growing relationship between Israel and the UAE, Ambassador Otaiba said: "We are optimistic and enthusiastic about this relationship. I hope Israelis are equally excited to get to know our people, heritage, and values—not just our shiny buildings and nice airports."

“Having trade, investment, research, a joint space program—it’s good for our two countries. As for me, I promised a good friend of mine we’ll visit Israel when the time is right, as soon as Covid is a little more under control & things look somewhat more normal," he said.

“We still believe the 2-state solution is the only game in town. You need to move forward with this. The Palestinians are not going away. At the end of the day - all we can do is create the space. We’re going to have tough conversations with the Israeli government about the Palestinians and the Palestinian state. This requires diplomacy and more importantly willingness and political courage from the leaders to make compromises and resolve this issue.” (INN / VFI News)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. - Matthew 5:9

“God, we ask that you continue to foster peace and understanding among neighbors of the region, so that your heart may be revealed more clearly to the world.”

Bahrain's Prime Minister Dies

Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the prime minister of Bahrain, has died, according to a statement released by the Bahraini government Wednesday.

The prime minister was being treated at an American hospital when he died. His body will be flown back to Bahrain for burial, with a limited number of close relatives permitted to attend the funeral, due to coronavirus restrictions.

The 84-year-old prince had served as Bahrain’s premier for 50 years, assuming office in 1970.

Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has declared a nationwide week of mourning, with the national flag lowered and work at government agencies halted for three days.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his condolences Wednesday afternoon. (INN / VFI News)

Iran Storing 12x Enriched Uranium than Allowed

Iran continues to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium far beyond the limits set in a landmark nuclear deal with world powers and to enrich it to a greater purity than permitted, the UN’s atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press that Iran as of November 2 had a stockpile of 2,442.9 kilograms (5385.7 pounds) of low-enriched uranium, up from 2,105.4 kilograms (4,641.6 pounds) reported on August 25.

The nuclear deal signed in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).

The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the deal. (TOI / VFI News)

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. - Psalm 34:14

Israeli Innovation Leads with Covid-19 Technology Solutions

Israel has truly earned its title of the “Start-Up Nation”. The Israeli innovation ecosystem has given birth to a unique environment, within which the Israeli entrepreneur flourishes and thrives.

In 2019, Israeli high tech exits were worth a staggering total of $21.7 billion and high tech exports from Israel were worth $46 billion – that’s in one year alone.

Mobileye – acquired by Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion. Soda Stream – acquired by PepsiCo in 2018 for $3.2 billion. Wix – IPO in 2013 and with a current market cap over $13 billion. And this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

Israeli startups are addressing pressing worldwide problems in fields as diverse as medical, Proptech and Contech engineering, Agritech, Foodtech and Fintech, with new solutions cropping up every day.

Investination’s CEO Oded Eliashiv explains, “Eighty Israeli companies have been launched in 2020 alone to work on solutions to COVID-19-related issues. That’s the largest cluster of COVID-19-relevant companies from any one country in the world. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for the innovations you have made through the people of Israel—please continue to spur them onward, for the good of all your people.”

Israel Surveillance System to Track Masks, Social Distancing

A new surveillance system that detects whether individuals are obeying coronavirus guidelines has been implemented in Or Akiva, a northern Israeli city.

Or Akiva has seen experimental monitoring systems pop up in popular locations throughout the city over the past few weeks. In hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the technology is able to detect face masks, social distancing, and overcrowding.

Shlomi Segev, the Director of the Municipal Authority for the Prevention of Violence, Drugs, and Alcohol Abuse, stated that the system was introduced in partnership with Israeli law enforcement, with the goal of preventing violence and vandalism in the city, while also upholding health guidelines.

Following the deployment of this new system, Israeli locals have reportedly expressed concerns about privacy issues, drawing comparisons to China’s surveillance systems. (DK / VFI News)

Israel's Haredi Population to Reach 6.5 Million by 2065

Israel’s Haredi community currently numbers about 1.1 million, according to a report by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Details of the report were released by Kikar HaShabbat, showing that in 2019, Israel’s Haredi population numbered an estimated 1,094,828, or 12% of the total population of the State of Israel. That amounts to close to 17% of Israel’s Jewish population.

The Haredi population, which has the highest birthrate in Israel, is projected to rise to grow rapidly over the next 45 years, with Haredim going from 12% of the total population of Israel to 32% by 2065.

By 2065, Israeli Haredim will number almost 6.5 million, compared to less than 10 million non-Haredi Jews and those categorized as ‘Other’, and about four million Israeli Arabs.

The report also revealed that Haredim have, on average, an income roughly one-third lower than the national average, making up 12% of the population but 8% of the total national income. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to bless Israel and her people—and that you continue to provide for all that they need.”

King David-Era Fort Found in Golan

Dating to around the time of King David 3,000 years ago, what may be the earliest fortified settlement in the Golan Heights was recently discovered during salvage excavations ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood. Incredible rock etchings of two figures holding their arms aloft — possibly at prayer with what could be a moon — were uncovered inside the unique fort, which was dated to circa 11th-9th century BCE.

The striking find is being tentatively linked to the Geshurite people, whose capital is recorded in the Bible as having been located nearby, to the north of the Sea of Galilee.

In a brief Hebrew video about the discovery, dig co-director Barak Tzin said that when the etching was found near the entrance of the fort, “We understood that we had something very, very important… We were astonished to discover a rare and exciting find: a large basalt stone with a schematic engraving of two-horned figures with outspread arms.” (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we see your will revealed over the millennia, etched in stone, and on our hearts through your words. Please continue to guide us as you have always done.”