Israel’s efforts to combat COVID-19

Compiled and edited by Jon Sutz

Continued from Israel’s medical innovations I Love Israel

MIGAL laboratory (Photo Credit: Lior Journo)

As an extension of Israel’s pioneering efforts in all aspects of medicine, its civilian and military organizations have been relentlessly working to rapidly develop world-class technologies to test for COVID-19, prevent its transmission, and medicines to help save the lives of those who’ve been infected.

Also see at the end of this page: The irony of Islamists’ denouncements of — and demands for — Israel’s help in fighting COVID-19

The most recent items are presented at the top

Coronavirus: Israeli-made Sonovia textile can eliminate British variant; This is so far the only textile effective at eliminating a COVID-19 variant, by Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2021. Excerpt:

Israeli company Sonovia, makers of the popular SonoMask face mask, has been found to not only provide accurate protection against COVID-19, but also against the British variant.

Prior studies had shown the Israeli-made SonoMask eliminated over 99% of particles from COVID-19 and H1N1 viruses. But now, these masks have been found to be effective at providing the same protection against the British variant.

This is significant, as the variant is the most dominant strain in both Israel and the United States. Not only that, but it is also far more infectious, with a recent study from Tel Aviv University concluding it was 45% more contagious than the original strain.

The study was conducted by the company alongside Italy-based lab Vismederi Textyle.

“We are delighted with the results, but we are not stunned,” Sonovia’s vice president of R&D Dr. Aaron Garzon said in a statement.

“As in all tests we have conducted so far, we once again our technology is showing fantastic efficiency against viruses and bacteria. I have no doubt that our technology will be able to neutralize any virus or bacteria that comes in contact with it, and the results will be similar. I applaud our scientific team for the long way we have come and look forward to expanding the technology in commercial applications.”

People wearing Sonovia’s SonoMask.

Super-speedy Israeli COVID test gets European approval; airport rollout planned; SpectraLIT eliminates the need for complex lab equipment by giving relatively accurate results after just 20 seconds of analysis, possibly aiding resumption of international travel, by Nathan Jeffay, Times of Israel, March 31, 2021. Excerpt:

An Israeli company said Wednesday that it received European approval for its rapid coronavirus test and it was poised to help kickstart international travel.

The handheld SpectraLIT machine eliminates the need for complex lab equipment by shining light through samples and giving immediate results using the spectral signature.

This means that staff in airport booths who are currently tasked with collecting test samples and dispatching them to labs will simply have a machine at hand and be able to give passengers results after just 20 seconds of analysis.

The system, which is being piloted at 36 hospitals worldwide, received European Medical Devices Directive approval for a swab version of its test, which allows it to start rollout across the European Union.

‘Life-saving’ nose spray that kills 99.9% of viruses begins production in Israel, By Nathan Jeffay, Times of Israel, March 22, 2021. Excerpt:

A nasal spray that will be marketed as capable of killing 99.9 percent of virus particles has started rolling off production lines in an Israeli factory.

The spray could have prevented much of the world’s COVID-19 infection, its inventor, Dr. Gilly Regev, told The Times of Israel.

“We are hoping that our nasal spray will now save many lives of people in countries that are waiting for the vaccine,” said Regev, an Israeli-raised biochemist who co-founded the company SaNOtize and developed the spray in Canada. “This will be affordable and can be used for prevention, to protect from any respiratory viral infection.”

She said that it has been shown to be effective in the lab against a wide range of viruses, and said that new variants of the coronavirus won’t interfere with its effectiveness, emphasizing: “It contains a broad spectrum antiviral which kills all viruses and all variants.”

Gilly Regev, an Israeli-raised scientist who co-founded the company SaNOtize, uses the new nasal spray she developed

Israeli company says oral COVID-19 vaccine on its way; “An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2021. Excerpt:

An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company is preparing to launch a Phase I clinical trial for what could become the world’s first oral COVID-19 vaccine.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company based on technology developed by Hadassah-University Medical Center, announced over the weekend a joint venture with Premas Biotech to develop a novel oral vaccine. Together they formed the company Oravax Medical Inc. The vaccine is based on Oramed’s “POD” oral delivery technology and Premas’s vaccine technology.

Oramed’s technology can be used to orally administer a number of protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection. Oramed is in the midst of a Phase III clinical trial through the US Food and Drug Administration of an oral insulin capsule for type I and type II diabetics.

Premas has been working on developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus since March.

The companies connected earlier this year, according to Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron, and quickly realized that they could revolutionize the marketplace.

Israeli startup Sonovia’s anti-pathogen masks prove 99% efficacy in US; The tests were conducted at the Barr Brands International (BBI) Labs in North Carolina and completed in November. Barr Brands International is a company specialized in cleaning products, by Rosella Tercatin, Jerusalem Post, February 17, 2021. Excerpt:

Special anti-pathogen masks by Ramat Gan-based company Sonovia have displayed a very high level of efficacy in eliminating bacteria during a test conducted in a US lab.

In recent tests carried out in a laboratory in China, the washable and reusable masks – treated with a special agent – also demonstrated an ability to eliminate some 99% of novel coronavirus particles.

“Previously Sonovia products had been tested mostly in European-oriented laboratories under European testing standards for antimicrobial and antiviral efficacy,” Liat Goldhammer, chief technology officer at Sonovia, explained to The Jerusalem Post. “Recently however we started to perform the tests according to the US standards.”

The tests were conducted at the Barr Brands International Labs in North Carolina and completed in November. BBI is a company that specializes in cleaning products.

“We obtained very good results before and after multiple wash-cycles,” Goldhammer explained.

The masks were placed in sterile jars with two kinds of bacteria, the Klebsiella pneumoniae and the Staphylococcus aureus, which present different cell wall structures and therefore were considered good samples of larger families of bacteria.

WATCH: Israeli ‘Miracle Inhaler’ Stopped Corona in 96% of Cases, by United With Israel, February 10, 2021. Excerpt:

A new Israeli coronavirus medicine called EXO-CD24 was administered to 30 patients with moderate or worse coronavirus conditions. All 30 recovered, with 29 of the patients recovering in three to five days.

According to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center, the results represent a “huge breakthrough.” The medicine is administered via an inhaler.

“If this succeeds, it will be huge, simply huge,” commented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli hospital claims it has developed drug to cure serious cases of COVID; According to its staff, 29 out of 30 patients with moderate-to-severe cases of the coronavirus were administered EXO-CD24 and experienced a marked recovery in just two days, by JNS, February 5, 2021. Excerpt:

Researchers at Israel’s Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center claim that they have developed a drug that may cure serious cases of the coronavirus.

According to the hospital, 29 out of 30 patients with moderate-to-severe cases of COVID-19 were administered the drug, named EXO-CD24, and experienced a marked recovery in just two days. They were released from the hospital three to five days later.

The medication, developed by Professor Nadir Arber from the hospital’s Integrated Cancer Prevention Center, fights the cytokine storm—is a potentially life-threatening systemic inflammatory syndrome that is believed to be responsible for many coronavirus deaths.

“The medicine is administered through inhalation, once a day, in a procedure that takes only a few minutes, for five days,” explained Arber.

14 of 16 severe COVID patients in trial recover with experimental Israeli drug; 2 cases remain in critical condition 28 days after receiving Enlivex Therapeutics’ Allocetra therapy in Phase II trials, marking 0% mortality rate in both studies of treatment, by Luke Tress, Times of Israel, February 3, 2021. Excerpt:

Israeli immunotherapy company Enlivex Therapeutics said Wednesday that 16 severe and critical COVID-19 patients who received its experimental treatment had survived a 28-day Phase II clinical trial period.

Two of the patients, who were critical cases at the start of the trial when they received the company’s Allocetra treatment, were still in intensive care and on ventilators at the end of the trial.

The other 14 patients recovered, were discharged from the hospital by the end of the trial and were reported to be healthy. The average duration of hospitalization after receiving Allocetra, for those who were discharged, was 5.3 days, the company said.

At the start of the trial, nine of the patients were in severe condition and seven were critical.

The company did a preliminary trial of five COVID-19 patients last fall. All of those patients, who were in severe to critical condition when they received the drug, were released from the hospital with an average stay of under 10 days after getting Allocetra.

The two trials together, therefore, had a mortality rate of zero percent in 21 severe to critical cases, although the fate of the two patients still in the ICU remains uncertain.

VIDEO: Israel’s Outstanding Vaccination Campaign – ELNET Briefing with Amos Harel, by ELNET (European Leadership Network), January 21, 2021.

Israel is by far the leader in administering COVID-19 vaccinations to its citizens, January 14, 2021

From Our World in Data: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations:

Israeli’s anti-coronavirus nasal spray ‘99.9 per cent’ effective in lab test; SaNOtize, a Canadian company co-founded by Israeli Gilly Regev, has developed a spray that can destroy coronavirus in the upper airways, by Orlando Radice, The JC, January 10, 2021. Excerpt:

A company co-founded by an Israeli has come up with a nasal spray that has been shown to be highly effective at killing coronavirus in the upper airways, before the infection can spread to the rest of the body.

The Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray, developed by Canadian company SaNOtize, proved 99.9 per cent effective in independent lab tests in the US, at Utah State University’s Antiviral Research Institute. It is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials throughout Canada.

UK trials of the spray will begin on January 11 at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

SaNOtize was co-founded by Canada-based Israeli Dr Gilly Regev, now the CEO of the company. Dr Regev was raised in Israel and has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Hebrew University.

She recently told Times of Israel: “We know that infection starts in the nasal passages – that’s where the virus enters the body. It multiplies there. If we kill it when it enters the body, we will not get sick.”

Dr Gilly Regev. Photo courtesy Sanotize

Netanyahu revels in Israel’s COVID-19 vaccine successes, though the campaign is not without controversy, by Mark MacKinnon, Globe & Mail, January 8, 2020. Excerpt:

It’s a unique problem in a world besieged by new and more transmissible variants of the coronavirus: Israel is inoculating its population so quickly that it is running out of vaccine supplies.

It’s a medical achievement made possible by the country’s small size and its battle-ready health care system. It’s an impressive campaign that has boosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances of victory in elections scheduled for March.

While countries such as Canada and the United States have struggled to get their vaccine doses into the arms of their citizens, Israel is now facing the opposite problem and will soon need to slow its vaccination effort to ensure it doesn’t run out.

As of Thursday, Israel had delivered the first of two prescribed doses to more than 19 per cent of its population, according to Our World in Data, a website published by Oxford University. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain ranked second and third in the inoculation race, having vaccinated just over 9.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent of their citizens, respectively, followed by Britain at 1.9 per cent and the United States at 1.8 per cent.

Tel Aviv research: 99.9% of COVID-19 virus dead in 30 seconds with UV LEDs; The study is the first of its kind in the world, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, December 26, 2020. Excerpt:

Ultraviolet radiation is a common method of killing bacteria and viruses. Now, researchers from Tel Aviv University have proven that the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, can be killed efficiently, quickly and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) at specific frequencies.

“We discovered that it is quite simple to kill the coronavirus using LED bulbs that radiate ultraviolet light,” said Prof. Hadas Mamane, head of the Environmental Engineering Program at Tel Aviv University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, who led the study with Prof. Yoram Gerchman and Dr. Michal Mandelboim.

She said that the UV-LED bulbs require less than half a minute to destroy more than 99.9% of the coronaviruses.

The study is the first of its kind in the world. An article about it was published earlier this month in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology.

The Jerusalem Post has written about Mamane many times. She presented this summer at the Boris Mints Institute 2020 Research Conference on her involvement in the construction of a 30-meter “green wall” at the university, which is meant to create a sustainable ecosystem for waste, energy and water.

Prof. Hadas Mamane (Credit: Tel Aviv University)

Prof. Hadas Mamane (Credit: Tel Aviv University)

Shaare Zedek, Sight Diagnostics to collaborate on coronavirus research; The combination of the country’s largest sample database, established by the medical center, and Sight’s advanced capabilities will help identify deterioration processes among COVID-19 patients, by Sarah Chemla, Jerusalem Post, November 12, 2020. Excerpt;

Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Sight Diagnostics will collaborate on a new study to examine morphological changes that occur in white blood cells of coronavirus patients, in order to detect early deterioration of their health status.

The new study, which will be made possible thanks to the blood samples held within the large biobank set up by Shaare Zedek Hospital and tested using the Sight OLO device, is the result of a research collaboration agreement signed this week between the two parties.

“We welcome the expansion of our collaboration with Sight, and hope for beneficial results in the joint experiment,” said Renee Ofan, VP of Research and Innovation at Shaare Zedek. “The agreement signed this week reflects many years of cooperation between the medical center and Sight, also in the company’s main area of ​​activity in the development of a blood counting device.”

The research will be carried out using Sight’s flagship device, the Sight OLO, which is a significant breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence, image processing technology and blood diagnostics. OLO allows a complete blood count (CBC) test to be performed very easily and quickly, using only two drops of blood taken from the finger.

Israeli doctors to ‘zap’ COVID-19 patients back to health in new treatment; While generally radiation is used in the management of malignant neoplasms, physicians worldwide have broadened its applicability to a variety of benign diseases, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, August 27, 2020. Excerpt:

A team of doctors at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer plans to conduct a clinical trial using low-dose radiation therapy to fight COVID-19. It would be the first of its kind in Israel and one of only a handful of similar studies worldwide.

Some 30 patients will participate in the study over the next 15 weeks, Prof. Zvi Symon of Sheba’s Radiation Oncology Department told The Jerusalem Post. The trial is based on the hypothesis that low-dose radiation therapy (LDRT) could improve clinical, radiographic and immune outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome, he said.

“When the COVID crisis began, there were some older radiotherapists in the world who remembered that 70 years ago some doctors were using low-dose radiation therapy to treat pneumonia,” Symon said.

Researchers started looking into that therapy and found that between 1905 and 1946, outcomes of some 700 pneumonia patients treated with LDRT showed that it led to measurable clinical improvements in the hours and days following administration. These included improved respiration, lower fever and a better chance of survival.

These studies took place before the era of randomized clinical trials and peer-reviewed journals, Symon said, adding: “It’s not quite clear today how many of these were bacterial pneumonia, how many [were] viral pneumonias and how many [were] immune-response pneumonias. But looking at those results was very encouraging.”

Ichilov Medical team at the coronavirus unit, in the Ichilov hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel, July 28, 2020. (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Israeli innovation helps combat coronavirus in Africa, by Eliana Rudee, JNS, June 15, 2020. Excerpt:

“We are happy to share knowledge with medical entities around the world for the sake of saving human lives,” says Magen David Adom director general Eli Bin.

In the backdrop of expanding Israel-Africa relations in recent years, Israeli organizations and startups are working to help countries on the African continent fight the coronavirus.

Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance service, recently built dedicated software for managing a drive through coronavirus testing facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

MDA’s drive-through centers, which have been operating since the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus in Israel, have received more than 120,000 Israelis. They have also sparked interest from the DR Congo’s Honorary Consul in Israel, resulting in a similar center throughout the central African country, as well as a training program with videos and written procedures that has been passed from MDA to medical professionals who operate the facility in the DR Congo.

“During the long period in which we operated the many ‘Drive Thru’ sampling facilities, the technology we used proved itself, along with the effective and safe practices that enabled the safety of the suspected infected and the teams,” said MDA chief of information officer Ido Rosenblat. “From the moment they contacted us, we were ready to help at during difficult time to set up the ‘Drive Thru’ sampling facilities in DR Congo, and to share our knowledge.”

Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance service, recently built dedicated software for managing a drive through coronavirus testing facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Credit: Magen David Adom.

Israeli researchers on road to new coronavirus passive vaccine, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2020. Excerpt:

Seven of the epitopes are potentially effective vaccine candidates. The research shows that they could cover as much as 87% of the world population.

A team of Israeli researchers at Bar-Ilan University have identified short amino acid sequences – often referred to as the “building blocks of life” – that could help develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus and which they believe could stop the next outbreak.

“Our study has identified a set of potential immunodominant epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 proteome, such that these epitopes are capable of generating both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses,” according to Dr. Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, head of the Cancer Genomics and BioComputing of Complex Diseases Lab at Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.

Epitopes, known also as antigenic determinants, are the part of the antigen that binds to a specific antigen receptor on the surface of B cells or T cells. They are capable of stimulating an immune response.

Immune responses that are based on specific immunodominant epitopes involve the generation of both antibody- and cell-mediated immunity against pathogens presenting such epitopes. Such immunity can facilitate fast and effective elimination of the pathogen.

The result: A passive (as opposed to an active) vaccine, capable of activating both cellular and humoral immune responses in humans.

During this study, Frenkel-Morgenstern said, the team mapped coronavirus epitopes with those of the influenza virus, which are available in the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB). They found that few influenza virus epitopes share more than 85% sequence identity with experimentally detected epitopes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Israeli scientists: Gaucher’s disease drugs effective against coronavirus, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2020. Excerpt:

Scientists from the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) say that the analogues of two drugs designed to treat Gaucher’s disease are effective against coronavirus and can potentially serve as a broad-spectrum antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 in a future outbreak.

Specifically, IIBR tested on cell cultures whether the synthesis of glycosphingolipids, biologically active components of cell membranes, can serve as an antiviral therapeutic target against SARS-CoV-2. To do so, they examined the analogues of the drugs Cerdelga and Remdesivir.

The FDA has already approved Cerdelga and has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19.

Scientists found that antiviral treatment using both drugs led to a significant reduction in the replication capacity of the coronavirus and to the destruction of the infected cell. This decrease in virus replication prevents further cell damage following infection.

“Infection with SARS-CoV-2 reduced cell viability to 40% in the untreated cell,” a 24-page report by IIBR showed. However, when treated with Cerdelga and Remdesivir, cell viability was increased to between 75% and 100%, demonstrating that they “have an antiviral effect on the SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate in vitro,” the paper said. A single dose is able to significantly inhibit viral replication within 24 to 48 hours.

The team found similar results when testing the analogues on Influenza A, West Nile fever and Sindbis viruses.

Doctor chief of the intensive care unit (ICU), Luiz Gustavo Marin poses for pictures at the Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital, where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, in Porto Alegre, Brazil (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israeli researchers develop ‘self-disinfecting’ mask amid coronavirus, by Zachary Keyser, Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2020. Excerpt:

Researchers at the Technion University in Haifa have developed a “self-disinfecting” face mask for people to wear amid the coronavirus pandemic, the academic institution announced Monday.

In light of recent developments at the Technion’s Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, the university applied for a patent on March 31 in the United States – the country hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak. As of press time, the United States has reported 1.68 million cases of the coronavirus, and registered 98,024 deaths as a direct result of the viral spread.

The disinfection process itself, takes place when a layer of carbon fibers in the mask are warmed up by plugging it into a low current source –  the Technion uses a mobile phone charger as an example.

In recent weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the hands of governments across the globe to require their national constituency to wear face masks when venturing out of the house, as the coronavirus and shelter-in-place orders continue to grip countries worldwide.
With regard to the masks themselves, there are many options available for the public to purchase and use. The most popular being the N95 masks, which are essential for front-line medical workers, but are single use and in short supply. This is where the Technion comes in.

The Technion’s innovative reusable face mask, developed by Dean of the Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering Prof. Yair Ein-Eli and his research group, destroys viruses that build up on the mask using low-current heat. These are viruses that would otherwise compromise the efficacy of the face mask.

A man wears a face mask for fear of the coronavirus as he takes the train to Haifa, on March 17, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Made-in-Israel anti-pathogen mask ‘Registered for Marketing’ by FDA, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2020. Excerpt:

Sonovia’s Sonomask has been recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration as “Registered for Marketing,” the company told The Jerusalem Post.

An Israeli start-up, Sonovia developed an almost-permanent, ultrasonic, fabric-finishing technology for mechanical impregnation of zinc oxide nanoparticles into textiles. The company sped up efforts to manufacture masks using its anti-pathogen fabric at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Israel. Now, three months later, it has undergone extensive tests that showed positive results, including its latest filtration results – inhalation and exhalation – which showed a 98% success rate for stopping aerosols that are less than five microns in diameter, the size of the droplets that World Health Organization officials think are transmitting the contagion. Typical respiratory droplets exceed this size.

Other tests showed that it has a 99.8877% viricidal effect, meaning the fabric works to deactivate viruses so that they cannot enter host cells, after an exposure time of 24 hours.

It was these results that helped enable the company to receive its FDA status.

The company launched commercial sales earlier this month.

Sonovia mask (photo credit: COURTESY OF SONOVIA)

Israel’s IIBR finds antibody that neutralizes coronavirus; IIBR, Yeroham to collaborate on vaccine production facility, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Anna Ahronheim and Idan Zonshine, Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2020. Excerpt:

The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has completed a groundbreaking scientific development, identifying an antibody that neutralizes the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, according to a statement by the Defense Ministry.

“I am proud of the Biological Institute staff, who have made a major breakthrough,” said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday after visiting the Ness Ziona-based lab. “Jewish creativity and ingenuity brought about this amazing achievement.”

This scientific breakthrough has three key parameters: The antibody is monoclonal, new and refined, and contains an exceptionally low proportion of harmful proteins; the institute has demonstrated the ability of the antibody to neutralize the novel coronavirus; and the antibody was specifically tested on the aggressive coronavirus.

“Based on comprehensive scientific publications from around the globe, it appears that the IIBR is the first institution to achieve a scientific breakthrough that meets all three of the aforementioned parameters simultaneously,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on behalf of the institute.

MIGAL researchers working vigorously to find a new coronavirus vaccine (photo credit: LIOR JOURNO)

More: Israel isolates coronavirus antibody in ‘significant breakthrough’: minister – Reuters

Israeli masks designed with unique anti-pathogen fabric enter US market, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2020. Excerpt:

“When coronavirus started we were an Israeli startup,” Dr. Jason Migdal. “Now, we are a commercial business.”

The Israeli startup Sonovia, which sped up efforts to manufacture masks using its anti-pathogen fabric at the start of the coronavirus crisis in Israel, has launched commercial sales.

The company’s technology is based on a lab-scale sonochemical process that was developed at Bar-Ilan University. Sonovia started manufacturing its product in March at a plant near Nahariya when Israel had only 200 patients, and has sold 30,000 masks. Most of its clients are distributors and nonprofits in the United States.

“When coronavirus started, we were an Israeli startup,” Dr. Jason Migdal, a research scientist with Sonovia, told The Jerusalem Post. “Now, we are a commercial business that is having success internationally.”

Sonovia developed an almost-permanent, ultrasonic, fabric-finishing technology for mechanical impregnation of zinc oxide nanoparticles into textiles.

“The technology is based upon a physical phenomenon called cavitation,” said Migdal. “Sound waves are used to physically infuse desired chemicals onto the structure area of materials, enhancing them with clinically proven antiviral and antibacterial properties.”

Migdal explained that the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, is spread via aerosol and direct contact. Therefore, antiviral personal protective equipment is “of crucial importance to combat the transmission of this viral epidemic.”

Sonovia mask (photo credit: COURTESY OF SONOVIA)

Israeli lab confirms breakthrough with virus antibody, but says months till cure, by Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, May 5, 2020. Excerpt:

State-run facility says it is ‘first in world’ to reach 3 major milestones in COVID-19 fight; antibody could yield a treatment but has yet to be tested on animals, let alone humans.

Israel’s shadowy Biological Research Institute confirmed Tuesday that it has isolated an antibody it believes could be used to develop treatments against the COVID-19 virus, and said it was ahead of the world in its efforts, though it also warned that medication was still at least several months away.

This development would not be useful in the creation of a vaccine, but would rather be a move toward a drug treatment for those who have already contracted the disease. The antibody has also not yet been tested outside of a Petri dish.

While a number of scientific institutions around the world have discovered antibodies capable of destroying the COVID-19 virus, the Defense Ministry-run laboratory said it was the first in the world to reach three major milestones: finding an antibody that destroys the virus; that targets this coronavirus specifically; and that is monoclonal, lacking additional proteins that can cause complications for patients.

In first, system to destroy COVID-19 used in Israeli hospital rooms, by Jerusalem Post, April 24, 2020. Excerpt:

The system is built on ultraviolet light which gives off a specific wavelength that has been found to be deadly to the coronavirus, not cancerous and safe for use in close proximity to patients.

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center installed a new system to destroy the COVID-19 virus in hospital wards where patients infected with the virus are treated. This includes the intensive care unit and the hospital’s outpatient unit.

The system is built on ultraviolet light which gives off a specific wavelength that has been found to be deadly to the coronavirus, not cancerous and safe for use in close proximity to patients, including those suffering from pulmonary problems.

This system is the result of research and development carried out by Israeli businessman Eldad Peri together with a medical team headed by Dr. Boris Orkin. A team of physicists also assisted and in writing the algorithm which scientifically matches the system to the space intended for purification by calculating the wavelength and output needed in order to purify the area in a safe and comprehensive manner.

According to the inventors, the system destroys the coronavirus in a room in up to half an hour and without causing harm to any of the patients

“UV lights have been used for years to purify and disinfect operating rooms in Israel and around the world, however in 2009 the American Health Authorities issued a warning that some of the lights which were being used created ozone molecules that could be extremely dangerous, especially for pulmonary patients,” Orkin said. “Because of this, they were not used in the fight against the coronavirus, for fear of harming the patient.”

Eldad Peri (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Coronavirus drug to be tested on patients in Israel, by Rossella Tercatin, Jerusalem Post, April 23, 2020. Excerpt:

XPOVIO was developed for treating patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and is already FDA approved for this purpose.

A drug that has shown promising results against coronavirus is going to be tested in four hospitals in Israel as part of a global trial involving some 40 clinical centers.

The drug, Selinexor, or XPOVIO as it is currently marketed in the US, was developed by oncology-focused pharmaceutical company Karyopharm Therapeutics. The company was co-founded by Israeli scientist Sharon Shacham in 2008. It is based in the US but maintains a regional office in Israel.

XPOVIO was developed for treating patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. It is FDA approved for this purpose. However, it has the potential to be a tool to fight the coronavirus, and clinical trials are needed to assess its effectiveness, according to Anat Haas Mizrahi, Karyopharm’s Israel general manager; and Dayana Michel, its senior medical director.

“In our research, we are committed also to develop drugs for additional purposes,” Haas Mizrahi told The Jerusalem Post. “One of the studies was focused on viral diseases, and we tested the drug for several of them. When the coronavirus emerged, we decided to look into our data and information, and we realized that there was an option that could be applicable for treating COVID-19, so we started looking into it.”

Israeli Team Developing Coronavirus Vaccine Raises $12M For New Startup, To Begin Summer Trials, by NoCamels, April 22, 2020. Excerpt:

A newly formed Israeli company working to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus based on research by scientists at the Migal Galilee Research Institute secured $12 million in an investment round led by Israeli crowdfunding venture investment platform OurCrowd.

The new company, MigVax, was created as an affiliate of the Migal Galilee Research Institute and will advance the effort to develop the vaccine. In early March, scientists at Migal announced that they successfully developed a vaccine for a deadly coronavirus affecting poultry and are working to adapt the vaccine for humans.

The scientists had been working for four years to develop a vaccine against IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus), which affects the respiratory tract, gut, kidney and reproductive systems of domestic fowl. The disease causes “remarkable economic losses to the poultry industry by inducing respiratory and reproductive signs, decreased productive performances and increased mortality,” according to a 2019 veterinary study.

The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in pre-clinical veterinary trials with poultry, the institute said. In the study, the animals received 2 initial doses and a booster dose. 80 percent of the animals were cleared of the virus within six days, according to a presentation by the institute during a webinar hosted by OurCrowd on Wednesday.

Migal Galilee Research Institute scientists. Courtesy

Tel Aviv University Professor Granted US Patent for Coronavirus Vaccine Design, by Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner, April 20, 2020. Excerpt:

A professor at Tel Aviv University (TAU) has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for his innovative vaccine design for the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, TAU announced on Sunday.

Prof. Jonathan Gershoni of the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology at TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences created a vaccine that “targets the novel coronavirus’s Achilles’ heel, its Receptor Binding Motif (RBM), a critical structure that enables the virus to bind to and infect a target cell,” according to TAU.

Gershoni explained that the vaccine would reconstruct the coronavirus’s RBM, a small feature of its “spike” protein. This specific protein is a major surface protein that the virus uses to bind to a receptor, which is another protein that provides a pathway to a human cell.

TAU said, “After the spike protein binds to the human cell receptor, the viral membrane fuses with the human cell membrane, allowing the genome of the virus to enter human cells and begin infection.”

Israel fast-tracks ventilator innovations for Covid-19 care, by Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21C, April 20, 2020. Excerpt:

In face of shortage, partnerships formed in the Startup Nation’s public, private and nonprofit sectors are finding fast and affordable alternatives.

As soon as Israeli hospitals saw a possible shortage of ventilators for critical Covid-19 patients, the Startup Nation’s public, private and nonprofit sectors got busy finding fast and affordable alternatives.

One of the coordinators of this task is Daniel Gold, the retired brigadier general who daringly began the Iron Dome missile defense project in defiance of the establishment in 2005.

This time, as head of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate for Defense R&D (DDRD), Gold does not have to go behind anyone’s back. The DDRD enjoys full support in tackling this issue along with the ministry’s Directorate of Procurement and Production (DOPP).

“Our defense industries have unparalleled capabilities — able to manufacture components quickly and in great quantities, whether it’s for weapon systems or ventilators. This eliminates our dependence on imports,” said Gold.

“We are continuing in the race around the clock to translate the extraordinary tech capabilities of the defense establishment, to the fight against corona.”

7 Israeli mask and face shield solutions for coronavirus, by Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21C, April 10, 2020. Excerpt:

Now that we’re all covering our faces to avoid COVID-19, Israeli innovators are stepping up invention of antiviral masks, shields and stickers.

It seems like eons since ISRAEL21c first reported on two antiviral facemasks under development in Israel — but it was only January 28.

Since then, facemasks of all kinds have become part of everybody’s wardrobe due to the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

And in that short time, additional Israeli entrepreneurs and researchers have introduced facemask and face shield inventions we want to tell you about.

Let’s begin with an update on that first article highlighting washable masks from Sonovia and from Argaman. Each uses its own proprietary technology to embed microbe-killing metallic particles into textiles.

Sonovia’s antimicrobial facemask. (Photo: Courtesy Sonovia)

Israeli COVID-19 treatment with 100% survival rate tested on US patient, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2020. Excerpt:

After one week, six critically ill patients in Israel survived. Four of them showed improvement in respiratory parameters.

Israeli-based Pluristem has treated its first American patient suffering from COVID-19 complications under the country’s compassionate use program.

The news comes days after a report by the company showed that six critically ill coronavirus patients in Israel who are considered high-risk for mortality were treated with Pluristem’s placenta-based cell-therapy product and survived, according to preliminary data provided by the Haifa-based company.

In the US case, the patient was treated with the company’s PLX cell therapy at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey, where Pluristem is already running a Phase III critical limb ischemia study. Like the patients treated in Israel, this patient was critically ill with respiratory failure due to acute respiratory distress syndrome and was intubated in an intensive care unit for three weeks.

The company’s president and CEO, Yaky Yanay, said that although Pluristem is focused on a planned multinational clinical trial for the treatment of complications associated with coronavirus, it does hope to expand treatment under compassionate use in other countries at the same time.

Specifically, the US treatment was administered under the US Food and Drug Administration’s Single Patient Expanded Access Program, which is part of the US Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program – an emergency program aimed at getting treatments to corona patients as quickly as possible.

Student-built robot to help battle corona in hospital, by Naama Barak, ISRAEL21C, April 12, 2020. Excerpt:

High schoolers’ robotic platform shuttles supplies to and from the coronavirus ward while controlled remotely by medical staff.

The battle against coronavirus in Israel just got a helping hand from an unexpected source: the robotics club at the prestigious Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.

Students and alumni of the robotics club, called “Galaxia 5987 in memory of David Zohar,” answered a call from Rambam Medical Center and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In under a week, they developed a robot according to the hospital’s requirements.

The prototype robotic platform, CoRobot, can shuttle supplies to and from the coronavirus ward to minimize the need for medical staff to enter and risk catching the highly infectious virus.

CoRobot can be remotely operated by medical staff using a joystick or a smartphone app. They can see what is happening through the video camera attached to the robot.

CoRobot can transport supplies to patients while minimizing the need for human medical staff to enter infectious wards. Photo courtesy of Technion Spokesperson’s Office

FDA Moves Israeli COVID-19 Treatment With 100% Survival Rate Into Clinical Trials, by Brandon Morse, Red State, April 10, 2020. Excerpt:

Some hopeful news. One Israeli company has created a treatment for the Wuhan Coronavirus that has thus far proved to be 100 percent effective in treating the virus.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the company Pluristem created a placenta-based cell-therapy that has not only helped patients survive but also improve respiratory parameters to boot. […]

The Jerusalem Post reported that the company plans to apply to multiple nations to begin clinical trials for complications associated with Cornavirus symptoms. This includes the FDA in the United States who Pluristem is already talking with in order to “define our clinical strategy for COVID-19.”

Israeli COVID-19 treatment shows 100% survival rate – preliminary data, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2020. Excerpt:

Not only have all the patients survived, according to Pluristem, but four of them showed improvement in respiratory parameters.

Six critically ill coronavirus patients in Israel who are considered high-risk for mortality have been treated with Pluristem’s placenta-based cell-therapy product and survived, according to preliminary data provided by the Haifa-based company.

The patients were treated at three different Israeli medical centers for one week under the country’s compassionate use program and were suffering from acute respiratory failure and inflammatory complications associated with COVID-19. Four of the patients also demonstrated failure of other organ systems, including cardiovascular and kidney failure.

Not only have all the patients survived, according to Pluristem, but four of them showed improvement in respiratory parameters and three of them are in the advanced stages of weaning from ventilators. Moreover, two of the patients with preexisting medical conditions are showing clinical recovery in addition to the respiratory improvement.

“We are pleased with this initial outcome of the compassionate use program and committed to harnessing PLX cells for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems,” said Pluristem CEO and president Yaky Yanay. “Pluristem is dedicated to using its competitive advantages in large-scale manufacturing to potentially deliver PLX cells to a large number of patients in significant need.”

Pluristem’s PLX cells are “allogeneic mesenchymal-like cells that have immunomodulatory properties,” meaning they induce the immune system’s natural regulatory T cells and M2 macrophages, the company explained in a previous release. The result could be the reversal of dangerous overactivation of the immune system. This would likely reduce the fatal symptoms of pneumonia and pneumonitis (general inflammation of lung tissue).

Biologists work in a laboratory at Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. in Haifa (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

30 Israeli medical innovations to fight coronavirus, by Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21C, March 30, 2020. Excerpt:

Whether it’s in diagnostics, treatment or care management, Israel’s innovators are busy inventing and adapting technologies to ease the coronavirus burden on the world.

The coronavirus crisis is first and foremost about people.

People stuck at home, people out of work. People sick with the virus, people caring for them. People canceling dream weddings and vacations, people deciding public-health policies.

Technology is also about people.

Here in Israel, a powerhouse of innovative technology, people are busy inventing and adapting technologies to ease the corona burden.

“Technology has a great role to play in solving and helping us get through this crisis, from diagnosis, mitigation, patient tracking, contamination prevention, and protecting medical staff, to education and exercise for the homebound,” says OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved.

As you read below about Israeli medical technologies for the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that each one is about people – people striving to protect themselves, their loved ones and all humankind against this terrible pandemic.

Speech Analysis Startup Cordio, Rambam Hospital To Trial Voice-Based Test For COVID-19 Patients, by NoCamels, April 2, 2020. Excerpt:

Haifa’s Rambam Hospital is set to trial speech-based analysis technology by Israeli company Cordio Medical to remotely monitor and diagnose the status of COVID-19 patients based on samples obtained via a smartphone app.

The Or Yehuda-based Cordio Medical developed the HearO technology to monitor patients suffering from heart failure and the platform could prove useful for the sophisticated management of COVID-19 patients who have received a diagnosis and are in isolation but have yet to be hospitalized, the hospital said.

HearO analyzes recordings of a patient’s speech and can sense fluid accumulation and forewarn of an anticipated deterioration, the company says, adding that the tech has already been proven in clinical trials at 10 medical institutions in Israel including Rambam, the Beilinson-Rabin Medical Center, and Barzilai Hospital. The system provided a pre-deterioration notice on an average of ten days prior to an acute heart failure hospitalization with an accuracy rate of over 80 percent, Cordio says. The HearO system is in the process of seeking FDA approval as a means to monitor heart-failure patients.

Cordio’s solution for COVID-19 patients is based on adapting HearO to the deterioration process associated with the disease characterized by bilateral pneumonia with edema in the lungs. The system would pick up on a deterioration based on slight changes in lung fluids and the onset of inflammation before the patient can feel it, Cordio explained.

From left to right: Leon Eting, VP Product, Itai Katsir, VP R&D, Tamir Tal,CEO, Dr. Ronit Haviv, SVP Clinical & Regulation, and Professor Ilan Shallom, CTO. Photo: Eyal Tueg

Israel opens world’s first psychiatric unit for corona patients, by Abigail Klein Leichman, ISRAEL21C, April 1, 2020. Excerpt:

Sheba Medical Center says dedicated unit needed as many psychiatric patients have difficulty with social distancing. A corona maternity unit has also opened.

On March 25, Israel’s Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center opened what is believed to be the world’s first psychiatric unit for COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Mark Weiser, chief of psychiatry at Sheba, will oversee the separate 16-bed unit.

“We are the first in the world to open a dedicated department of psychiatry for corona patients as part of our commitment to weaker populations,” Weiser announced to participants from 19 countries on a web-based press conference on March 26.

Weiser explained that psychiatric patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have difficulty adhering to social distancing and other hospital regulations meant to keep contagion at bay.

“The whole ward can get infected, as happened in South Korea,” he said, referring to a February incident at Chungdo Daenam Hospital. “So we designated one facility for all psychiatric patients in Israel who are COVID positive.”

COVID-19: Israel ranks number one in health safety, by i24NEWS, March 31, 2020. Excerpt:

Israel received a score of 619, Singapore came in second with 600, and Slovakia in third with 580

Israel has been ranked first place in the COVID-19 Health Safety Countries Ranking by the Deep Knowledge Group, an association of commercial and non-profit organizations active in the realm of DeepTech and Frontier Technologies.

Israel received a score of 619, Singapore came in second with 600, and Slovakia in third with 580.

The United States was ranked 27th on the list with a score of 140.

(Editor: Read more here)

The Israeli Development That Could Produce Hundreds of Ventilators a Day, by Adi Pick, CTech (via The Algemeiner), March 29, 2020. Excerpt:

Microsoft’s research and development center in Israel, in collaboration with Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom (MADA), the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), and the Israeli Air Force, is working to develop a low-cost ventilator that can be mass-produced in labs without the need of dedicated factories, Microsoft Israel announced Friday.

Ventilators have been proven to be a bottleneck in treating the more serious symptoms of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in many of the countries currently experiencing an outbreak. Critical patients can experience severe respiratory distress and mortality rates rise even further when ventilators are unavailable. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, Israel currently has just 2,173 ventilators in stock, 28 of which are faulty. The ministry is currently making efforts to obtain new machines.

The ventilator Microsoft Israel is developing uses a manual respiration balloon and operates it autonomously. The product is open source, meaning that all of its assembling instructions will be open to the public, both in Israel and worldwide.

British-Israeli project aims to identify anti-Covid-19 drug in ‘weeks’, by Jacob Judah, The JC, March 27, 2020. Excerpt:

Scientists are using new research techniques to speed up the drug discovery process.

Israeli and British scientist are pioneering a revolutionary method of scientific research that could see a candidate for an anti-coronavirus drug emerge “within weeks”.

The teams at the Weizmann Institute for Science in Israel and the Diamond Light Source laboratory in Oxfordshire, which are together pioneering an “open” and fast research method, outlined their current findings and research plans in a discussion hosted by Weizmann UK on Thursday.

“I have never seen anything like this,” said Sharon Gould, the Executive Director of Weizmann UK, “we normally think of research as being a grindingly slow process, especially basic research, but in this case the race is really on to find a solution to stop this deadly virus”.

In a statement, the Weizmann Institute said: “By ramping up research production in partnership with other entities, the scientists may quickly pave the way to get an effective anti-Covid-19 drug candidate to patients— possibly in a matter of weeks.”

The Weizmann Institute has been contributing to Israel’s coronavirus response. Its scientists have built two testing facilities, one of which will provide several thousand coronavirus tests and “will at least double the national number of tests that we are able to carry out per day.”

Israeli Researchers Successfully Test New, Faster COVID-19 Testing Method, by JNS, March 19, 2020. Excerpt:

Researchers at Israel’s Technion–Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Health Care Campus have successfully tested a new method, called “pooling,” that they claim will dramatically increase the country’s ability to test for COVID-19. Because the method enables simultaneous testing of dozens of samples, its implementation will greatly accelerate the rate of COVID-19 testing and detection, according to the researchers.

COVID-19 testing in Israel is currently focusing on symptomatic individuals, because the current rate of testing—about 1,200 a day—does not allow for monitoring of asymptomatic carriers in the population, though such monitoring is vital to curb the epidemic.

To confirm the presence of COVID-19 virus in a sample, researchers must detect the virus’s unique genetic sequence in a sample. The test takes several hours, so testing individual samples thus generates a bottleneck.

According to Dr. Yuval Gefen, director of the Rambam Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, “Today, we receive approximately 200 COVID-19 test samples a day, and each sample undergoes individual examination. According to the new pooling approach we have currently tested, molecular testing can be performed on a ‘combined sample,’ taken from 32 or 64 patients. This way we can significantly accelerate the testing rate. Only in those rare cases where the joint sample is found to be positive will we conduct an individual test for each of the specific samples.”

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in a lab at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, on March 17, 2020. (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90.)

Israeli scientists: ‘In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine’, by Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, March 15, 2020. Excerpt:

Once the vaccine is developed, it will take at least 90 days to complete the regulatory process and potentially more to enter the marketplace.

Israeli scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days, according to a release.

“Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough,” Akunis said. “I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Akunis said, referring to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

For the past four years, a team of MIGAL scientists has been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.

MIGAL is located in the Galilee.

“Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus,” said Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader. “The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.”

MIGAL laboratory (Photo Credit: Lior Journo)

New Israeli app to notify users of potential coronavirus exposure, by Aaron Reich March, Jerusalem Post, March 15, 2020. Excerpt:

The app is already available on Android and will soon be rolled out for iPhones. However, it does not work retroactively, so it is important that users download it as soon as possible.

A new app developed in Israel in partnership with United Hatzalah will alert users if they have been in close proximity with a confirmed coronavirus patient.

The app, called Track Virus, works by tracking the user’s location, crosschecking their path with those of confirmed coronavirus cases through the use of data listed by the Health Ministry. Users will receive a notification should they have been near a case.

All information gathered in the app is stored anonymously on each phone and is not gathered into a cloud storage system. No identification is needed for downloading the app.

The app is already available on Android and will soon be rolled out for iPhones. However, it does not work retroactively, so it is important that users download it as soon as possible.

“As the number of coronavirus patients rises, the harder it becomes for the public to keep track of all the different places that they have all been and the updates from the Health Ministry.

Additionally, people often have a hard time recalling exactly where they have been and when,” United Hatzalah of Israel’s vice president of operations Dov Maisel explained in a statement. “The app solves both of these problems.

The Track Virus app allows users to see if they had crossed paths with any confirmed coronavirus cases. (photo credit: UNITED HATZALAH‏)


The irony of Islamists’ denouncements of — and demands for — Israel’s help in fighting COVID-19, and the world “news” media’s incitement of anti-Semitic rage

What white supremacists are to Caucasians, what the Ku Klux Klan is to Christianity, Islamists are to Islam. They insist, and teach their children to believe, that they have a divine mandate to conquer the Earth for Islam, and either enslave or murder anyone who refuses to comply.  Israel is situated amid a land mass in which it is surrounded by nations and regimes that are ruled by brutal Islamists, who have sworn an oath to wipe it – and Jews – off the face of the Earth.

Yet in regards to COVID-19, these nations & regimes (and often, their enablers & apologists in the Western “news” media and “human rights” groups) express two conflicting narratives:

(1) Nothing that was created or touched by Jewish hands should be allowed into Islamist-ruled nations or regions (according to Iran’s terrorist rulers, though, it would be okay to acquire COVID-19 treatments that were created by Jews, if they are the only ones available)

(2) The Jews of Israel have a moral and/or legal obligation to provide COVID-19 therapies to Palestinian

Here a few news items that illustrate this clash, between reality, and the myths that the world “news” media help to propagate, on behalf of Palestinians:

(1) Examples of Palestinians rejecting Israeli COVID-19 aid

(2) Examples of world “news” media sources inciting hatred of Israel based on falsehoods, by ignoring (a) Palestinians’ history of rejecting Israeli COVID-19 aid, and (b) mutually agreed-to policies that specify Israel is not responsible for providing medical aid to them

(3) Despite these dynamics, Israel has repeatedly tried to help the Palestinians, even in the terrorist-ruled Gaza Strip

Update, February 8, 2021: A podcast with a professor, Eugene Kontrovich, that addresses the above issues:

(1) Examples of Palestinians rejecting Israeli COVID-19 aid

Palestinian Authority refuses to pick up corona aid waiting in Israel; Despite severe shortage of medical equipment and testing kits, PA leadership prefers to leave UAE shipment on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport rather than accept Arab “normalization” with Israel, by Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom, July 15, 2020.

Palestinians again refuse planeload of virus aid from UAE; Palestinian Authority official says they will not accept medical equipment because flight was coordinated directly between Israel and Emirates, by AFP and Times of Israel staff, June 11, 2020,

Hamas Threatens Violence if Israel Doesn’t Meet Demands for Advanced Coronavirus Equipment, by Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner, April 19, 2020.

Top Iranian cleric okays buying future Israeli coronavirus vaccine ‘if there’s no substitute,’ by Times of Israel, March 12, 2020. Excerpt:

Naser Makarem Shirazi, 93, a Holocaust-denying hardliner and one of the highest religious authorities in Iran, says using vaccine made by ‘Zionists’ okay if ‘there’s no substitute.’

(2) Examples of world “news” media sources inciting hatred of Israel based on falsehoods, by ignoring (a) Palestinians’ history of rejecting Israeli COVID-19 aid, and (b) mutually agreed-to policies that specify Israel is not responsible for providing medical aid to them

As Israel Leads In COVID-19 Vaccines Per Capita, Palestinians Still Await Shots, by Daniel Estrin, NPR, December 31, 2020.

Palestinians: We didn’t ask Israel for COVID-19 vaccine, by Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, December 21, 2020.

Israel is starting to vaccinate, but Palestinians may have to wait months, by Steve Hendrix and Shira Rubin, Washington Post, December 19, 2020.

Palestinians scramble for COVID-19 vaccines as Israel prepares rollout. by Ali Sawafta, Reuters (via Yahoo News), December 18, 2020.

(3) Despite these dynamics, Israel has repeatedly tried to help the Palestinians, even in the terrorist-ruled Gaza Strip

Here is just one example of this effort, which the world “news” media almost uniformly ignores

COGAT coordinates the delivery of more coronavirus equipment into Gaza; “COGAT and the PA are cooperating closely and effectively to manage the outbreak of the virus,” by Celia Jean, Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2020. Excerpt:

Once again, large amounts of essential coronavirus products were delivered into Gaza through the Erez border crossing by the Defense Ministry’s military unit COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), on Friday.

“COGAT and the PA are cooperating closely and effectively to manage the outbreak of the virus,” said the head of the coordinator’s civil affairs department, Col. Sharon Biton, in a meeting with representatives of international organizations to evaluate the ongoing situation.