Cyberattacks on Israel increasing; Iran deal warning: Israel Update

December 18, 2020

Israel and Bhutan announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. The agreement will "open the path to greater cooperation and further strengthen relations" between Israel and the South Asian kingdom, according to a joint statement. The foreign ministers of Israel and Bhutan held secret talks that resulted in the agreement. Even in the absence of formal relations, Israel has helped Bhutan in the field of development and agriculture since 1982, the statement said. 


Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer called on the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden to not repeat what he called “the mistakes of the past” when it comes to dealing with Iran. Biden has frequently indicated his desire to bring the US back into the Iran deal, which was forged while he was vice president under Obama. On Thursday, Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggested that returning to a nuclear deal with Iran would require certain new agreements from Iran. Iran has seemingly already rejected the IAEA chief’s remarks. In a series of tweets, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna insisted there would be "no renegotiation on the Deal and in case of its revival, there is no necessity for a new document on the Agency’s role.


At least two Israeli companies were hit by major cyberattacks this week. The first attack targeted Israeli software firm Amital Data, and many of its clients. The second took aim at Habana Labs, a producer of processors, working under Intel. The two attacks are being attributed to the Iranian hacking group "Pay2Key," which is targeting Israeli firms at a rapid and alarming rate. Research conducted by cyberintelligence firm OP Innovate has revealed that the Iranian hackers managed to hit more than 80 targets in the Israeli market. The latest incidents come just days after it was revealed that a major cyberattack hit dozens of Israeli logistics companies earlier this month. A specific report of that incident was filed with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by the freight company, Orian, one of the victims in the attack. Iran is believed to be the likely culprit.


Health officials reportedly believe that Israel will reach 5,000 to 6,000 new, daily coronavirus cases before the effects of recent restrictions kick in. They are pushing for significant constraints, or another lockdown, in order to gain control of the virus, according to a report by Channel 12 news Thursday. Earlier in the week, the coronavirus cabinet tentatively approved a series of measures, including the complete re-shuttering of the commercial sector, and a return to online learning for grades 1-4 in locales with high case numbers. Israel has already had two national lockdowns since the outbreak began in March. A few of the restrictions from the second lockdown have been in place since mid-September. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry may push the coronavirus cabinet to label all foreign countries as “red” in a move that would force every returning traveler to quarantine for 10 days upon return.


The safety, health, and well-being of all community members is a priority for the Jewish Federation. Like many of you, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page has been developed to help our community stay informed about efforts to support the community during this time. This page will be continually updated. 


We want to wish everyone a meaningful holiday season and Happy New Year. We look forward to connecting with you, and continuing our updates in 2021.   


Shabbat Shalom, 


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


P.S. If you or a friend would like to get our own, up-to-the-minute Israel Update, you can sign up here; when asked for "interests" click "weekly Israel Update."

Israel Makes Anti-Coronavirus Mask From 'Biological Warfare' Disinfectant


Moroccan UN Ambassador Pledges Peace with Israel at Hanukkah Lighting


Over 50,000 Israelis Have Visited UAE Since Peace Deal Signing


New UN Mideast Envoy Knows Israeli–Palestinian Conflict from Up Close


Israel Has 313,000 Vaccine Doses. Will Have 3.8 Million by End of Month
Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 8.27.49 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 8.28.58 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 8.32.33 AM.png

Our JCRC is curating a diverse schedule of webinars, hosted by our local and national partners, on Israel and other issues related to our work. Click here to view this calendar.


Together, we can do virtually anything. If you or a loved one need help during this crisis, please reach out to our COVID-19 Hotline.


 Follow the Jewish

Community Relations

Council on Facebook



• Follow director Jackie

Congedo and the JCRC

on Twitter



• Visit our website for

more information and


About Us

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is the non-partisan, public affairs arm of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Contact Us

Jackie Congedo, Director 

Jewish Community Relations Council 

513-985-1501 |

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.