Malawi to build embassy in Jerusalem; Russian vaccine order: Israel Update

November 6, 2020

Malawi plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem, making it the first African state to say it would do so. Malawian Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka made the announcement on Tuesday, during a visit to Israel. The United States and Guatemala are the only countries that have embassies in Jerusalem, although several nations have indicated they would open one, including Brazil, Serbia, Kosovo, Croatia, Honduras, Moldova, Romania, and the Czech Republic. Since its founding in 1964, Malawi is one of the few African states with which Israel has had continuous diplomatic relations. Several African countries had previously opened embassies to Israel in Jerusalem, but closed them following the 1973 Yom Kippur war.


Israel saw 560 new COVID-19 coronavirus infections on Thursday, the Health Ministry said in a Friday morning update. With 34,102 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, the positive test ratio stood at 1.7 percent, falling below the two percent mark for first time in days. The update statistics put Israel's death toll from the pandemic at 2,639. Israel brought down its daily coronavirus infection rates sharply—from roughly 8,000 in mid-September to several hundred by late October—with a nationwide lockdown that began in mid-September. The new figures come amid reports that the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem has ordered some 1.5 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine


The IDF demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank, officials and witnesses said Wednesday. According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer at the scene, Israeli bulldozers razed the village—which included tents, sheds, portable toilets, and solar panels—near Tubas in the Jordan Valley. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh claimed Israel timed the demolition for the US election, when the world would be distracted. Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said it had destroyed structures "built illegally in a firing zone (military training area) in the Jordan Valley." The United Nations maintains that so far this year, some 689 structures have been demolished across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 869 Palestinians have been left homeless.


On Wednesday, The Israel Defense Forces said a member of the Palestinian Authority’s security services opened fire at troops in the northern West Bankand was then neutralized by Israeli forces. Though not unprecedented, it is highly unusual for members of Palestinian security forces, which often coordinate closely with the IDF and other Israeli defense agencies, to carry out attacks against Israeli troops and civilians. The incident came days after Israeli troops opened fire on a Palestinian car after a homemade bomb was thrown from the vehicle at a junction manned by soldiers in the central West Bank, the army said. 


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 and provide resources to help maintain a sense of connection. This page will be continually updated. 


Shabbat Shalom, 


Jackie Congedo, Director, JCRC


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