Jerusalem, 4 April, 2021 (TPS) -- Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter to Pope Francis I for Easter on Friday, wishing him and Christians around the world his greetings for Easter.
Noting that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has “proved conclusively that the borders between countries are artificial, as the sickness does not differentiate between nations or between the followers of different religions,” he said that “this has reinforced our awareness of the importance of cooperation, of the values of brotherhood, humanity, mutual trust and help.”
He further noted his pride that the vaccination operation in Israel “reaches all the residents of our country, followers of all faiths and to members of all communities.”
He also pointed to Israel’s cooperation with “our neighbors in the region, the Palestinians and while we are emphasizing that our lives are shared together.”
In conclusion, he expressed hope he will have an opportunity to meet again with Francis to “reiterate my commitment to the connections of Israel and the Holy See to the freedom of religion in the Holy Land” before he leaves office in June.
Jerusalem, 31 March, 2021 (TPS) -- A new Coronavirus (COVID-19) variant has been discovered in Israel, the Health Ministry announced Tuesday.
The ministry’s Central Laboratory for Viruses published a study mapping the COVID-19 strains that exist in Israel since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 until January.
An Israeli variant was listed among the various mutations. The strain is uncommon and has no clinical or epidemiological significance, is not related to or causes widespread infection, severe morbidity, or has an effect on vaccine efficacy.
The Israeli variant appeared in samples from July but is disappearing and the evidence for it is dwindling.
The British variant is the dominant one in Israel and appeared in over 90% of the sequenced cases in Israel in February 2021.
The improvement in Israel’s situation vis-à-vis the Coronavirus is attributed to its success to rapidly vaccinate its population.
Jerusalem, 29 March, 2021 (TPS) -- An Arab terrorist was apprehended by Israeli forces on Sunday after he attempted to ram them with his car.
The IDF stated that the terrorist accelerated toward a number of IDF soldiers at the Ein Mabuah Spring, hitting several vehicles on the way.
The suspect was captured and transferred for further questioning.
No Israeli injuries were recorded.
Jerusalem, 25 March, 2021 (TPS) -- IDF soldiers thwarted an attempt to smuggle drugs worth about NIS 5 million from Egypt into Israel.
IDF lookouts identified on Monday night a number of suspects who tried to smuggle drugs from Egyptian territory into Israel.
IDF troops thwarted the smuggling of some 200 kg of drugs worth about NIS 5 million that were transferred to the Israel Police.
Attempts to smuggle drugs from Egypt’s and the IDF’s success rate in thwarting these attempts have increased in recent weeks.
Israeli forces periodically clash with smugglers on the border with Egypt, a major smuggling route for drugs, weapons and women into Israel.
Jerusalem, 24 March, 2021 (TPS) -- The Israeli Air Force carried out a series of strikes against Hamas terror targets on Tuesday night in response to a rocket attack on Israel earlier in the evening.
Gaza-based terrorists fired a rocket toward the city of Beer Sheva. The rocket exploded in an open area, causing no casualties or damage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly in the area at the time of the attack.
In response, IAF fighter jets and helicopters struck a Hamas rocket manufacturing site and military post.
“Hamas will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians,” the IDF stated after the attack.
The last rocket attack on Israel from Gaza occurred two months ago.