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After Shootout, IDF Forces Thwart Drug Smuggling from Egypt

1 November, 2021   |   1 month ago

IDF forces operating on Israel’s southern border with Egypt on Sunday night were successful in apprehending drugs worth millions following a shootout with the smugglers.

The IDF stated that its forces identified a number of suspects who tried to smuggle drugs from Egypt into Israel, in the area of the “Paran” regional brigade.

IDF troops operating in the area thwarted the smuggling and seized about 300 kg of drugs worth about NIS six million.

During the clash, the smugglers and the IDF forces exchanged fire. There were no Israeli casualties.

The seized drugs will be handed over to the Israel Police.

Such incidents occur every several weeks.

Israel in recent years has built a fence along the Egyptian border to block the flow of work migrants coming to the country from Africa through Egypt. The tall fence has also been helpful in slowing down the prolific smuggling trade from Egypt into Israel, mostly the work of local Bedouin tribes.

Israel has deployed Special Forces to contend with the smugglers, who often become violent when encountering Israeli interceptors.

3rd COVID-19 Vaccine Reduces Mortality by 81%, Israeli-Harvard Study Shows

31 October, 2021   |   1 month ago

The most comprehensive study to date regarding the efficacy of the third Pfizer-developed Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine, conducted by the Israeli Clalit Research Institute in collaboration with Harvard University, shows that a third dose reduces hospitalizations by 93%, reduces serious illness by 92%, and reduces corona-related deaths by 81%.

The researchers analyzed anonymous data of 728,321 patients of the Clalit HMO who received a third dose of the vaccine, compared to a control group that included 728,321 people who had received only two doses about five months or more before.

The data of the vaccines examined are in the period ranging from July 30 to September 23, 2021, in parallel with the fourth corona wave in Israel, during which the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was the dominant strain in the country.

The matching between the study groups was performed based on an extensive set of demographic, geographic, and health characteristics related to risk for serious illness, health status, and health behaviors. Allocation to the study groups was performed dynamically based on the daily vaccination status and approximately 198,476 individuals switched from the unvaccinated group to the vaccinated group during the study period.

The findings suggested that the third vaccine dose reduced by 93% corona-related hospitalizations to corona disease reduced by 92% serious illness, and reduced by 81% morbidity associated with corona morbidity.

The size of the study also allows for an accurate assessment of vaccine efficacy over different time periods, different subpopulations, and different serious outcomes.

Prof. Ran Blitzer, head of Clalit’s Innovation Division and director of the Clalit Institute for Research, said over the weekend that these results are “very important and give well-founded and valid information to anyone who is still hesitant about receiving the third dose – in Israel and other countries around the world.”

The outcome of the third Pfizer-developed booster vaccine administered to over 3,943,000 Israelis in recent weeks is apparently taking effect, as the fourth COVID-19 wave in country is fading away and as the country recorded the lowest COVID-19 stats in months.

Policeman Injured in Rooftop Chase

28 October, 2021   |   1 month ago

An Israeli policeman was moderately injured Wednesday night during a chase after a burglar on the rooftops of Be’er Sheva in the south.

Policemen and members of an intelligence unit gave chase after a Bedouin burglar in Be’er Sheva who took to the roofs in an attempt to escape.

During the chase, one of the officers fell from the roof at a height of seven meters and incurred moderate injuries.

The burglar, 21, a resident of Segev Shalom, was arrested by the other policemen in pursuit.

‘Triumph of Vision’: Israel’s President Marks 27th Anniversary of Peace Treaty with Jordan

27 October, 2021   |   1 month ago

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog sent a letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan on the 27th anniversary of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, lauding the “supreme strategic value of peace.”

“Anyone present at the ceremony at the southern border crossing of Arabah on October 26th, 1994 will never forget the fine day on which your father, King Hussein, and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin demonstrated the true meaning of leadership by taking responsibility for their nations’ fate,” wrote Herzog.

“The signing of the agreement represented the triumph of vision over extremism and cynicism,” he declared. “Twenty-seven years later, the supreme strategic value of peace should be clear to all. Only by deepening and expanding our ties across all levels of government and civil society, and in all fields of cooperation, can we safeguard this indispensable asset of peace.”

“I look forward to seeing our bilateral cooperation grow in the fields of agriculture, water, trade, innovation, hi-tech, and more over the course of my Presidency, for the benefit of both our nations and the region as a whole,” the letter said.

Herzog met with King Abdullah in Jordan a few weeks ago.

Israel’s diplomatic relations with Jordan have been tense for years.

While Jordan officially remains committed to the peace agreement, relations are limited largely to behind-the-scenes security ties and some environmental cooperation.

The Jordanians overwhelmingly reject the peace agreement and any form of normalization with Israel.

IDF Apprehends Infiltrator on Gaza Border

26 October, 2021   |   1 month ago

IDF forces apprehend a man who attempted to infiltrate Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday night.

The IDF stated that the suspect attempted to cross the border in the northern Strip.

The suspect was captured and was unarmed. He was later taken for questioning by the security forces.

The IDF contends with several infiltration attempts on the border with Gaza on a weekly basis. Most incidents involve Gazans illegally seeking work in Israel. However, the IDF treats every incident as a potential terrorist attack.

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