IDF Holds Drills as Tensions Simmer in the North

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23 Feb 2018 (All day)
IDF Holds Drills as Tensions Simmer in the North
The IDF kicked off a series of large-scale drills on the Northern border this week, with regular and reserve units participating in combined arms maneuverers in coordination with the Air Force and Navy. According to officials involved in the training, these drills serve several purposes from preparation for all possible scenarios to signalling to friends and enemies alike that attacking Israel would be a futile endeavour. “This past week we practiced significant scenarios with challenging obstacles in which we improved our operational, physical and mental readiness,” said Col. Gal Shohami, the commander of the 188th Brigade which is part of the Galilee Formation that is responsible for the border region. “The 188th Brigade will be ready to fight on the battlefield, wherever and whenever it is necessary.”

The drills came amidst preparations by the IDF and the United States military’s European Command for the annual “Juniper Cobra” air defence exercises, which are scheduled for early next month.

“Juniper Cobra 2018 is another step in improving the readiness of the IDF and the IAF in particular to enhance their operational capabilities in facing the threat posed by high-trajectory missiles,” said Brig.-Gen Zvika Haimovich, the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division head. “The exercise demonstrates the close and strategic cooperation between the IDF and the US Armed Forces.”

Israel and the Palestinian Authority Hold Economic Meetings
According to a report in the news portal Globes, Israeli Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon held a meeting recently with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in which it was agreed that Israel will increase the number of work permits for Palestinians in Israel by 20,000, bringing the total to 100,000. Analysts said the meetings demonstrate the continued good economic ties between Israel and the PA, despite the tense political atmosphere.

In related news, Israeli security forces attempted to arrest a Palestinian terror suspect in the midst of a riot in the West Bank city of Jericho Thursday. During the arrest operation, a Palestinian man attacked some soldiers with a blunt object and was killed in the ensuing melee. The IDF was investigating the incident after initial reports from the field conflicted with a further examination of the evidence surrounding it.

Israel blesses the world
A team of Ophthalmologists from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University published a report this week on a new medical process they’ve invented and patented, which holds great promise for people suffering from near and far sightedness. The leader of the team who developed the so-called “nanodrops” explained that the process, should it realize its full potential, could eliminate the need for eye glasses entirely. Elsewhere, researchers at Tel Aviv University unveiled a breakthrough made this week which helps diagnose a condition that causes some babies to be born premature and/or with low birth weight.

“Up to 8% of pregnant women may contract preeclampsia during their second or third trimester,” said TAU’s Dr. Noam Shomron. “This is a serious disease that endangers the health, sometimes even the lives of the mother and the fetus. Our findings form the basis for a simple blood test that would predict preeclampsia and, in turn, allow doctors to provide treatment that would prevent the very onset of the disease.”

Here is a video showing other ways Israel is blessing the world



Israel’s Winter Olympics Delegation Acquits Honorably
Israel’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics will return to Israel this weekend with their heads held high following an honourable performance from the largest ever delegation to the Winter Games. Figure skater, Alexei Bychenko, gave Israel its strongest placement in the games, finishing 11th in the Men’s overall competition.

Israeli Supreme Court Receives New Justices
Israel’s Supreme Court received two new justices Thursday evening, replacing the two who recently retired.  Analysts assessed that legal scholar Alex Stein and Lod District Court Judge Ofer Grosskopf will bring the Court in a more traditional “hands off” orientation after many years in which it has come in for criticism for being too interventionist in the political sphere. The new justices are also viewed as being more conservative on many social issues than their predecessors.