Wednesday, March 3

Tag: Israel

Israeli study finds Pfizer vaccine 85pc effective after first shot
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Israeli study finds Pfizer vaccine 85pc effective after first shot

The first dose of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine is 85 percent effective, a study of healthcare workers at an Israeli hospital has found, potentially fuelling a debate over the recommended two-dose schedule as governments try to stretch out supplies. The Sheba Medical Center’s findings compare with overall efficacy of around 95 percent in a two-dose regimen 21 days apart for the shot developed with Germany’s BioNTech. The Sheba study, to be published in The Lancet medical journal, comes a day after Canadian researchers suggested that the second Pfizer dose be delayed given the high level of protection from the first shot in order to increase the number of people getting vaccinated. Their research showed efficacy of 92.6 percent after the first dose, based on an analysis of the docume...
White House denies Biden is snubbing Israel’s Netanyahu
World

White House denies Biden is snubbing Israel’s Netanyahu

The White House yesterday denied that US President Joe Biden was intentionally snubbing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by failing to include him so far in an early round of phone calls to foreign leaders since taking office on January 20. The lack of direct contact between the Democratic president and the long-serving right-wing premier has fuelled speculation in Israel and among Middle East experts that the new administration may be signaling its displeasure over the close ties Netanyahu forged with Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump. “He is looking forward to speaking with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing when asked when Biden would call. “I can assure you that will be soon, but I don’t have a s...
Israel’s Netanyahu returns to court as graft trial ramps up
World

Israel’s Netanyahu returns to court as graft trial ramps up

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returns to court today to formally respond to the corruption charges against him, as his trial enters an intensified phase six weeks before he faces re-election. Netanyahu, the first Israeli premier to be indicted in office, was charged last year over allegations that he accepted improper gifts and sought to trade regulatory favour with media moguls in exchange for positive coverage. The combative 71-year-old prime minister blasted the charges as “fabricated and ludicrous” ahead of his first court appearance in May, and has claimed to be the victim of a witch-hunt. Repeatedly suggesting the charges against him have been trumped up, Netanyahu has taken direct aim at his hand-picked attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit. At the Monday heari...
Israel to send investigators to probe blast near its embassy in New Delhi
Cities, Highlights, India, World

Israel to send investigators to probe blast near its embassy in New Delhi

Israel will send a team to participate in an investigation into the blast outside its embassy in New Delhi on Friday, Sputnik reported citing sources. Sources told Sputnik that the decision was made after India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat while updating the situation and the ongoing investigation into the minor explosion. Israel's defence establishments have suspected Iran's IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) behind the attack, according to the sources. Prior to the attack, a Tel Aviv directive was issued for increased vigilance at its embassies around the world due to fears of an Iranian attack. A low-intensity explosion took place near the Israel Embassy on Friday. No injuries have been reported in the incident so far....
Iran accuses Israel, US in assassination of nuclear scientist
Highlights, World

Iran accuses Israel, US in assassination of nuclear scientist

Iran accused Israel and the US of being behind the assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists on Friday and vowed revenge, sharply escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the head of research and innovation at Iran’s Ministry of Defense and widely seen as having a major role in the country’s nuclear program. He was killed close to the Damavand campus of Islamic Azad University, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of central Tehran, the semi-official Tasnim news reported. “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice -- with serious indications of Israeli role -- shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet, without o...
Israel and UAE to announce partnership to combat Covid: Israeli PM Netanyahu
World

Israel and UAE to announce partnership to combat Covid: Israeli PM Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that his government and the United Arab Emirates will soon announce a partnership in the fight against the coronavirus. The deal, which the UAE later said involved two private companies, comes despite recent warnings from UAE officials that Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank would harm its efforts to improve relations with Arab states. In a speech to graduating Israeli fighter pilots, Netanyahu said an announcement was expected “in a few moments” and came after months of “intense contacts.” “This collaboration will be in the fields of research and development, technology, in areas that will improve the confidence in health throughout the region,” he said. The Emirates’ state-run WAM news agency lat...
Mike Pompeo in Israel for West Bank annexation talks amid Covid-19 lockdown
World

Mike Pompeo in Israel for West Bank annexation talks amid Covid-19 lockdown

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Israel on Wednesday for meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his new governing partner for talks that were expected to address Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Pompeo landed in Tel Aviv early in the morning and proceeded directly to Jerusalem, receiving an exemption from Israel’s mandatory two-week quarantine for arrivals due to the coronavirus outbreak. His visit is the first to Israel by any foreign official since January, before the country largely shut its borders to halt the spread of the pandemic. Netanyahu and his new coalition partner, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, postponed the swearing-in of their government until Thursday to accommodate Pompeo’s visit. One of the key items on the agend...
Israel airstrikes target Iran-linked military base in Syria
World

Israel airstrikes target Iran-linked military base in Syria

Syrian air defences on Sunday night opened fire in response to missiles being fired from inside Israel, the state media reported. Without divulging further details in the matter, the Syrian state TV, however, quoted residents in Damascus as saying that explosions could be heard near the capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to Fox News. Media reports further said that one of the Israeli missiles was shot down near Aqraba, a suburb near Damascus. Israel, in the meantime, denied commenting on the issue. In neighbouring Lebanon, Israeli warplanes could be heard flying in the country’s airspace at the time of the airstrikes in Syria. Damascus had earlier said that Israeli warplanes have fired missiles into Syria from Lebanon’s airspace. Fox News repor...
Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander, rockets rain from Gaza
World

Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander, rockets rain from Gaza

Israel killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, drawing day-long rocket salvoes in the worst cross-border fighting in months. The rare targeted strike which killed Islamic Jihad’s Baha Abu Al-Atta in Gaza came as Syrian state media said a separate missile attack had hit the home of an Islamic Jihad official in Damascus, killing two people including one of his sons. Syria said Israel carried out the Damascus strike. Israel did not comment. As the rocket fire and Israeli air-strikes continued into the night, Gaza medical officials said 10 Palestinians had been killed, including Al-Atta and his wife. About 25 Israelis were hurt in the Gaza rockets salvoes, some of which reached as far as Tel Aviv. The ...
Israeli army says intercepts 7 rockets fired from Gaza
World

Israeli army says intercepts 7 rockets fired from Gaza

The Israeli army said that the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile defence system had intercepted seven rockets fired on Friday evening from the Gaza Strip. “Seven rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. The Iron Dome Aerial Defense System intercepted them all,” the Israeli military said on Twitter. The army had earlier said air raid sirens had sounded in southern Israel. It was the second consecutive evening that the army reported rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas. Prior to Thursday, there had been no such reported rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel since September 12. In August, a series of rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli retaliations, as well as border clashes, raised fears of an escalation between Hamas and Israel, as ...
Israel approves extradition of alleged Russian ‘hacker’ to US
World

Israel approves extradition of alleged Russian ‘hacker’ to US

Israel’s justice minister Wednesday approved the extradition of a Russian alleged hacker to the United States, where he is wanted for fraud. “After thorough discussions these last few weeks with various parties, including political and judicial actors” Alexei Bourkov is to be extradited, Justice Minister Amir Ohana said in a statement. The statement did not give a date for the planned extradition, nor the precise allegations faced by the Russian citizen, who was arrested in Israel in 2015. Bourkov’s name has been mentioned several times by Russian and Israeli media in connection with a possible prisoner swap with Naama Issachar, an Israeli-American convicted in Russia on cannabis charges. According to Israeli media, Naama Issachar’s family plan to submit a request to Is...