2021-06-13 14:46:16 59439350 Health Ministry: Half of Israel's new COVID patients infected abroad Of the 109 cases confirmed in the past week, 51 were new arrivals who were placed in quarantine upon entry to the country; number includes new immigrants arriving from India, where the coronavirus is prevalent Adir Yanko https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/SJsEK8s5u Mon, 07 Jun 2021 13:21:22 +03:00 Nearly half of all people recently confirmed with COVID-19 in Israel were infected abroad, the Health Ministry says. Of the 109 cases confirmed in the past week, 51 were recent arrivals in Israel. They included new immigrants arriving from northern India, where the coronavirus is prevalent. All of those who confirmed to have the virus were placed under strict quarantine upon their arrival in the country. According to the Health Ministry, there were as of Monday a total of 66 people being treated for the virus in hospitals around the country, 37 of them in serious condition and 25 on ventilators. Since the start of the pandemic, 6,418 people succumbed to COVID-19 in Israel. On Sunday, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that if the number of coronavirus cases remains low, Israel will completely lift its mask mandate on June 15, some 14 months after it was introduced. The ministry, however, has not yet decided whether masks would still be required for schoolchildren in classrooms. Vaccination of children ages 12 to 15 began on Sunday, but there is no official recommendation for all children to be immunized. The Health Ministry has instead advised children whose health is compromised or who have family members at high risk from the disease to receive the vaccine. message 59435870 Edelstein: If virus numbers don't spike, indoor mask mandate to end on June 15 The health minister makes the announcement during ceremony honoring those who helped the country battle the pandemic, which resulted in Israel becoming 'the first fully vaccinated country in the world' Haim Goldich, Adir Yanko https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/r1uHdwq9O Sun, 06 Jun 2021 19:2:14 +03:00 Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Sunday that if there is no spike in Israel’s coronavirus infection rate in the next few days, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted on June 15. Israel lifted its mask mandate for outdoor spaces and fully reopened its schools on April 18, which was possible due to the world's fastest vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen its infection rates plummet. "After some discussions we came to the conclusion that if there is no deterioration in [COVID] indices and infection rate, on June 15 we will seek to scrap the obligation to wear masks indoors," said Edelstein during a ceremony honoring outstanding members of the health system for their contribution in the fight against coronavirus. "In the meantime, we want to keep the masks on," he said, adding the lifting of the mask mandate will not include schools. The health minister also praised Israel's high-paced vaccination campaign and subsequent rapid drop in new virus cases, which he said the experts warned were impossible to achieve. "For over a year we have been dealing with the pandemic that has not been seen for a century. We, in the health care system, together with the whole of the State of Israel, improved our capabilities and became the first fully vaccinated country in the world." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also gave a speech at the event and praised Israel's vaccination campaign as well. "This is what victory looks like - hundreds of Israelis sit in confined spaces with masks on and enjoy it. We went back to smiling. Israel smiles because Israel wins." Netanyahu also confirmed the expansion of the vaccination campaign for children aged 12 to 16, which began earlier in the morning. "This is great news for the State of Israel. It guarantees official herd immunity," he said. message 59435370 Israelis are getting fit and making money doing it With an eye on wellness, hospitals, unions and companies are adopting a new app that converts steps into 'coins' to be redeemed in stores and restaurants; its creators says the program also incentivizes a wide variety of other healthy habits Maya Margit/The Media Line https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/H1H4x2009u Sun, 06 Jun 2021 16:38:11 +03:00 As malnutrition and obesity rates skyrocket around the world, an Israeli mobile app is encouraging people to prioritize their health by paying them to walk. Yuvital (formerly UVTAL) Health’s flagship app Rumble converts steps users take into coins that can then be redeemed in order to purchase products or get discounts at stores and restaurants. More than 800,000 Israelis use the app to stay in shape and that number is quickly growing each month, says Yuvital Health’s CEO and co-founder Alon Silberberg. “By the end of the year we’re going to hit 1.3 million members, not including those outside of Israel,” Silberberg says. “We are creating and developing a platform that helps us to incentivize positive behaviors within specific populations.” Founded in 2017, Yuvital Health is based in the central Israeli city of Yavne. The company is named after Yuval Dagan and Tal Yifrach, two fallen IDF soldiers who served under Silberberg in the 2014 Gaza war. While Rumble is currently only available in Israel, Silberberg and his fellow Yuvital co-founders Lior Klibansky and Yaron Levi are hoping to launch it in Canada and the United States by the end of the year. According to Silberberg, the app mainly has been deployed in three industries: retail, corporate wellness and digital health. In the corporate sphere, companies are using the app to motivate their employees to maintain a healthier and more active lifestyle. “We can save a lot of money by reducing health care costs and by improving employee retention, productivity and so on,” he says. “You can convert 1,000 steps into 1 health coin and 1 health coin is equal to roughly 1 NIS ($0.31). Those coins can then be exchanged for gifts, discounts and other benefits with participating retail partners, similar to a credit card rewards program. The amount that one can earn might not sound like a lot at first, but it adds up. “By the end of this year we’re going to be somewhere between 120-150 million NIS ($36.9-46.1 million) the app to motivate their employees to maintain a healthier and more active lifestyle.</p> <p>“We can save a lot of money by reducing health care costs and by improving employee retention, productivity and so on,” he says. “You can convert 1,000 steps into 1 health coin and 1 health coin is equal to roughly 1 NIS ($0.31).</p> <p>Those coins can then be exchanged for gifts, discounts and other benefits with participating retail partners, similar to a credit card rewards program. The amount that one can earn might not sound like a lot at first, but it adds up.</p> <p>“By the end of this year we’re going to be somewhere between 120-150 million NIS ($36.9-46.1 million) that was spent using our coins,” Silberberg says.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement19044249> <p>The company is working with the Histadrut Labor Federation, insurance companies, hospitals and Clalit, Israel’s largest HMO.</p> <p>Rumble can also be integrated into a variety of wearable devices.</p> <p>It is not the only app that pays its users to exercise. In fact, a growing number of tech companies have ventured into the health and wellness incentives market in recent years.</p> <p>“We’re swimming in the same pool but each one of us is a little bit different,” Silberberg says, asserting that Rumble’s approach was more holistic in nature because it focuses on incentivizing a wide variety of healthy habits outside of walking, such as content consumption, drinking, mindfulness and going to the gym.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement19044250> <p>However, the app does not only use financial incentives to encourage healthy habits. It also relies on behavioral psychology in the form of goal-setting and encouraging users to compete against friends, loved ones and co-workers.</p> <p>Yaron Levi, chief architect and co-founder of Yuvital Health, says that the company’s strength more specifically lies in its use of the cloud-based technologies and its ability to garner data-driven insights into its users.</p> <p>“We use cutt message 59433030 Israel expands COVID-19 vaccine rollout to include adolescents aged 12–15 Health officials recommend shot to at-risk youths, those living with at-risk relatives and families expected to travel abroad; healthy pubescents will also be able to get vaccinated if they choose to Aryeh Savir/TPS https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/Hynns1q9d Sun, 06 Jun 2021 10:8:57 +03:00 Adolescents aged 12–15 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine effective immediately, the Health Ministry announced on Sunday. The ministry’s epidemic task force and vaccine monitoring committee, headed by Director-General Prof. Hezi Levi, reviewed multidisciplinary work concerning the shot's possible complications, including myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle. The panels determined that the risks posed from contracting the virus and the subsequent complications were greater than the risk of receiving the vaccine. The risk of myocarditis, which was observed in teenagers aged 16–19, was also low and led only to mild illness in most cases. However, in light of the pandemic's ongoing decline across the country, health officials mainly recommended the vaccine to adolescents with a medical risk of developing severe coronavirus illness, adolescents living with family members at risk of developing severe coronavirus illness and families expected to travel abroad. The new order is mainly directed at adolescents suffering from chronic diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Healthy teenagers will also be able to get vaccinated if they choose to. Israel has lifted almost all of its COVID-19 restrictions. The almost miraculous improvement in Israel’s situation vis-à-vis coronavirus is attributed to its successful vaccination rollout, which saw some 85% of Israelis over the age of 16 receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 5,455,00 Israeli citizens have received the first vaccine dose, accounting for 58% of the country's population, and more than 5,137,000 — about 55% — have received the second booster shot. The Health Ministry on Sunday reported that 30 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected over the past day out of 18,672 tests conducted over that same time period, putting Israel's positivity rate at 0.2%. There were 37 coronavirus patients hospitalized in serious condition, 25 of which were on ventilators. Israeli hospitals ha successful vaccination rollout, which saw some 85% of Israelis over the age of 16 receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.</p> <p>Over 5,455,00 Israeli citizens have received the first vaccine dose, accounting for 58% of the country's population, and more than 5,137,000 — about 55% — have received the second booster shot.</p> <p>The Health Ministry on Sunday reported that 30 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected over the past day out of 18,672 tests conducted over that same time period, putting Israel's positivity rate at 0.2%.</p> <p>There were 37 coronavirus patients hospitalized in serious condition, 25 of which were on ventilators.</p> <p><br></p> <IMG id=captionImageElement19095408> <p>Israeli hospitals have shut down most coronavirus wards nationwide as cases continued to steadily tick down.</p> <p>Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Israel last March, 6,418 Israelis have died of the virus.</p> message 59422710 Cannes festival to feature Israeli filmmakers for first time in years The 3 Israeli films set to screen for judges at 74th Cannes Film Festival are Nadav Lapid’s newest movie 'Ahed's Knee', Eran Kolirin's 'Let there be light'; Assaf and Eyal Geva's video game nominated in virtual reality category Amir Bogen https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/rkRKQDL5u Thu, 03 Jun 2021 18:28:14 +03:00 This year's prestigious film festival in French resort city of Cannes will feature three Israeli filmmakers after years with no blue and white representation. The 74th Cannes Film Festival is set to take place between July 6 and July 17. Among the three films which are set to screen at the festival is Nadav Lapid’s latest movie “Ahed's Knee”, which focuses on filmmaker’s struggle with the loss of his mother and his country’s creative freedom. The film will compete for the festival’s "Palme d'Or" prize, alongside some of the most well regarded independent films of 2020-2021. Lapid’s short film “The Star” will also be screened at the festival, but will not compete for the main prize. The filmmaker's work first featured at the festival in 2014 with the movie “The Kindergarten Teacher,” which was screened at the festival’s Parallel section, dedicated to discovering other aspects of cinema. “To present two films at the Cannes Film Festival is like digging, finding the treasure and then finding another one," said Lapid. "I am of course beyond thrilled. Ahed's Knee is a a film that I feel I have carved from the depths of my soul, head and body. When I look at it, I see the years of my life scattered on the screen,” added the filmmaker. “I am no less happy about ‘The Star’, a film made at the height of the COVID pandemic, with a sense of happiness and lust for life.” Another Israeli filmmaker who will make his way to the French film festival is Eran Kolirin. He will present his latest film “Let there be light”, which tells the story of an Israeli Arab who is forced to deal with his identity and national affiliation, when he finds the village where he grew up surrounded by a wall. The film will be screened in the “Un Certain Regard” category of the festival, which focuses on films with an unusual style. Kolirin's work first featured in Cannes in 2008, when his film “The Band's Visit” debuted in the exact same category. Kolirin returned to the festival in 2016, with sense of happiness and lust for life.”</p> <p>Another Israeli filmmaker who will make his way to the French film festival is Eran Kolirin. He will present his latest film “Let there be light”, which tells the story of an Israeli Arab who is forced to deal with his identity and national affiliation, when he finds the village where he grew up surrounded by a wall.</p> <p>The film will be screened in the “Un Certain Regard” category of the festival, which focuses on films with an unusual style.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18899724> <p>Kolirin's work first featured in Cannes in 2008, when his film “The Band's Visit” debuted in the exact same category. Kolirin returned to the festival in 2016, with his film “Beyond the Mountains and Hills.”</p> <p>“I'm happy to be back in Cannes and especially for Un Certain Regard," Kolirin said. “I'm especially glad it's happening with this movie, which is all about the most beautiful journeys I've made in my life, alongside the most beautiful people, within our broken and wounded reality in Israel.”</p> <p>Another filmmaker is Shlomi Elkabetz, whose movie “Black Notebooks” will be screened at the festival, but will not compete.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18899725> <p>Another Israeli representation at the festival is Assaf and Eyal Geva virtual reality game, "The Secret of Ratropolis". The game is nominated at the festival in the virtual reality category.</p> <p>The Cannes Film Festival, which will take place after a forced pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, will feature some of the world's greatest filmmakers and will open with French creator Leo Carax’s newest film "Annette".</p> <p>Other big names include Wes Anderson with his new film “The French Dispatch”, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with “The Hero”, &nbsp;and Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven with “Benedetta”.</p> <p><br></p> message 59415600 Israel to start vaccinating 12- to 16-year-olds next week Health Ministry says COVID vaccine drive will start with those most at risk of serious illness, as well as those living with high-risk family members; shot will not be compulsory, but will be available to all those who request it Adir Yanko, Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/ryFh0lSqO Wed, 02 Jun 2021 18:30:21 +03:00 The Health Ministry announced Wednesday that starting next week, it will begin vaccinating children aged 12-16 against coronavirus. The move followed several weeks of consultations with experts after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to give the relevant age group the Pfizer vaccine used in Israel. Though an official date has not yet been given, Maccabi and Clalit HMOs announced they will begin inoculations on Sunday, with people able to book an appointment starting Thursday. The ministry said that in light of the country's low infection rates, children in that age group who are at risk from the virus will be the first advised to get the shots, along with those living with family members who are likewise at risk of serious illness. Families who are planning to travel abroad will also be included in the first round of vaccinations, alongside anyone else who wants to vaccinate their children. The ministry said that vaccination would not be compulsory for the age group and parents will be able to decide if they want their children to get the shots. Earlier Wednesday it was announced that Home Front Command has ceased operating coronavirus testing centers due to the low infection rate in the country. The ministry said that from now on, COVID tests would only be performed at HMO clinics and only for symptomatic patients or those who had come into contact with verified carriers. On Tuesday, a Health Ministry study found a small number of heart inflammation cases in males under the age of 30 after the second Pfizer vaccine shot. In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated people, the ministry said in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned to examine the matter. Most patients who experienced heart inflammation spent no more than four days in hospital and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the study, which the ministrbe performed at HMO clinics and only for symptomatic patients or those who had come into contact with verified carriers.&nbsp;</p> <p>On Tuesday, a Health Ministry study <a href="https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-59413540,00.html" class="bluelink" style="">found a small number of heart inflammation cases</a> in males under the age of 30 after the second Pfizer vaccine shot.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18880296> <p>In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated people, the ministry said in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned to examine the matter.</p> <p>Most patients who experienced heart inflammation spent no more than four days in hospital and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the study, which the ministry said was conducted by three teams of experts.</p> <p>The study found "there is a probable link between receiving the second dose (of Pfizer) vaccine and the appearance of myocarditis among men aged 16 to 30," it said in a statement.</p> <p>Pfizer has said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18880297> <p>Israel has been a world leader in its vaccination rollout.</p> <p>With COVID-19 infections down to just a handful a day and total active cases at just 340 across the country, the economy has fully opened, though restrictions remain on incoming tourism.</p> <p>Some 55% of Israel's population has already been vaccinated. As of Tuesday, restrictions on social distancing and the need for special green vaccination passes to enter certain restaurants and venues were scrapped.</p> message 59414950 Contender on Uruguay Got Talent sings Israeli anthem during audition Lucia Abealar wins praise of the judges after performing an acoustic version of 'HaTikva' on the 8th episode of the 2nd season of the talent show; one judge says song is a reminder of importance of 'having freedom in our country' Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/ryEs01rc00 Wed, 02 Jun 2021 15:22:35 +03:00 A contender on Uruguay Got Talent sang Israel's national anthem "HaTikva" during a live audition, which premiered in the Latin American country on Tuesday. Lucia Abealar chose to sing an acoustic rendition of the anthem in Hebrew during the eighth episode of the second season of the talent show, surprising the judges with her unusual choice. Abealar even translated the lyrics for the judges and explained the meaning behind the song. She correctly said that the lyrics were written in 1878, while the melody was added to it later, resulting in the song becoming the anthem of the State of Israel. "[The song] is talking about hope," she added. One of the judges on the panel even said he remembered a few words from the song. "As long as there is a soul, it complements it," he said, emphasizing how important it is to "have freedom in our country. That is why it concerns each of us." Following the unique performance, the four judges voted to allow Abealar into the next round of the competition. The show is hosted by Uruguayan singer and actress Natalia Oreiro, the star of the 1999 soap opera "Muneca Brava", which became one of the most watched shows in Israel. She performed in Israel a number of times and in 2002 appeared on a live competition on the Israeli cable TV. The Israeli ambassador to Uruguay said: "The Jewish community in Uruguay was very excited about the performance and the special gesture, especially by a non-Jewish contestant." message 59414670 Optimism extends life expectancy, claim Israeli researchers Findings are the result of a long-term study of 1,200 elderly Jerusalemites who were born in 1920 or 1921, while analyzing their health, ability to function, economic wellbeing, social skills, anxiety level, integrity and optimism TPS https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/r1f4C24cd Wed, 02 Jun 2021 14:4:59 +03:00 Happiness and optimism might lead to better health, resulting in longer life expectancy, Israeli scientists said in a new research. Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reached the conclusion following a longitudinal study they began back in the 1990s. Professor Jochanan Stessman, director of the university's Institute on Aging headed the "Jerusalem Longitudinal Study" along with Prof. Jeremy Jacobs and Dr. Yoram Maaravi. The study followed 1,200 elderly Jerusalemites who were born in 1920 or 1921 and analyzed their health, ability to function, economic wellbeing, social skills, anxiety level, integrity and optimism. The level of optimism was measured with the help of a questionnaire about participants’ positive experiences and expectations for the future. “Our findings indicate that optimism has an impact on survival, whereas other studies have shown that it improves health-related functions, such as our immune systems, reducing risk factors for high blood pressure and cardiac issues, and maybe even cancer,” said Maaravi. In addition to the one-on-one interviews, the researchers looked at participants’ medical and records, and factored in parameters such as gender, economic, marital and parental status, education levels, physical and social activity. Once all the data had been obtained, the team determined that there was a correlation between a positive outlook and a longer life, and found clear evidence that elderly participants aged 85-90 with a high optimism score had a 20% higher life expectancy rate than those who were less optimistic. This number jumped to 25% among those in the 90+ age group. The study also found that men, in general, were more optimistic than women. “Optimism doesn’t have to be viewed as a trait we’re born with, but one that we can develop,” said Maaravi. “It’s important to think of ways to increase optimism because it’s more clear than ever that it can help people at all stages of their lives.” message 59413540 Israel sees probable link between Pfizer vaccine and myocarditis cases Health Ministry says in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned that men aged 16 to 19 were most at risk; In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/rkMVNqE900 Wed, 02 Jun 2021 8:58:23 +03:00 The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that it found the small number of heart inflammation cases observed mainly in young men who received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Israel were likely linked to their vaccination. Pfizer has said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition, known as myocarditis, than would normally be expected in the general population. In Israel, 275 cases of myocarditis were reported between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than 5 million vaccinated people, the ministry said in disclosing the findings of a study it commissioned to examine the matter. Most patients who experienced heart inflammation spent no more than four days in hospital and 95% of the cases were classified as mild, according to the study, which the ministry said was conducted by three teams of experts. The study found "there is a probable link between receiving the second dose (of Pfizer) vaccine and the appearance of myocarditis among men aged 16 to 30," it said in a statement. According to the findings, such a link was observed more among men aged 16 to 19 than in other age groups. Pfizer said in a statement that it is aware of the Israeli observations of myocarditis, noting that no causal link to its vaccine has been established. Adverse events are thoroughly reviewed and Pfizer meets regularly with the Vaccine Safety Department of the Israeli Ministry of Health to review data, it said. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group last month recommended further study of the possibility of a link between myocarditis and mRNA vaccines, which include those from Pfizer and Moderna Inc. CDC monitoring systems had not found more cases than would be expected in the population, but the advisory group said in a statement that members felt healthcare providers should be made aware of reports of a "potential adverse event." The ministry released the statement, which contained no recommendations, ahead of a widely expected decision on whether to begintment of the Israeli Ministry of Health to review data, it said.</p> <p>A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group last month recommended further study of the possibility of a link between myocarditis and mRNA vaccines, which include those from Pfizer and Moderna Inc.</p> <p>CDC monitoring systems had not found more cases than would be expected in the population, but the advisory group said in a statement that members felt healthcare providers should be made aware of reports of a "potential adverse event."</p> <p>The ministry released the statement, which contained no recommendations, ahead of a widely expected decision on whether to begin vaccinating youngsters aged 12 to 15 in Israel.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18925025> <p>It said a team examining that issue would make its recommendation to the ministry's director-general, but gave no date.</p> <p>Israeli media reports said a decision on including the 12-15 age group in the country's vaccination program could come as early as Sunday.</p> <p>Israel has been a world leader in its vaccination rollout.</p> <p>With COVID-19 infections down to just a handful a day and total active cases at just 340 across the country, the economy has fully opened, though restrictions remain on incoming tourism.</p> <p>Some 55% of Israel's population has already been vaccinated. As of Tuesday, restrictions on social distancing and the need for special green vaccination passes to enter certain restaurants and venues were scrapped.</p> <p><br></p> message 59410840 Kafka's unpublished letters, drawings now available online Project curator says one surprise finding is a blue notebook where the Jewish author wrote in Hebrew, with one entry asking a teacher not to get angry for mistakes in his homework — 'because I am already angry for both of us' AFP https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/HJxFFn75u Tue, 01 Jun 2021 17:48:35 +03:00 An unpublished collection of letters, manuscripts and drawings by Franz Kafka are now available online via the Israel National Library, which recovered the documents after years of legal wrangling. Some 120 drawings and more than 200 letters to his friend Max Brod are among the archives now available for public viewing, the project's curator Stefan Litte told AFP. The documents exist thanks to Brod's decision to break a pact with his friend Kafka, the acclaimed Czech Jewish author of "The Trial" and "The Metamorphosis", who as he suffered from tuberculosis asked his writings be destroyed. But after the author died in 1924, Brod decided to keep the papers and in 1939 fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia for Tel Aviv with them in tow. The Prague-born Brod, also Jewish, published many of the works, playing a pivotal role in establishing Kafka as one of the 20th century's key literary figures. Following Brod's death in 1968, a multi-country legal soap opera — some might even call it "Kafkaesque" — entangled rights holders and academics for years. After years of court proceedings and searches, the fifth and final cache was located in a vault at the Zurich headquarters of UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, and released after a Swiss court ruling. Most of the recovered material had already been published by Brod — but two surprises were in store for archivists in Jerusalem. "We discovered unpublished drawings, neither signed nor dated, but that Brod had kept," said Litt, who showed drawings of characters on small pieces of paper, including drawings of Kafka's mother and a self-portrait. "The big surprise we received when we opened these documents was his blue notebook, in which Kafka wrote in Hebrew, signing 'K', his usual signature," Litt said. In one of the entries in his notebook, dated to 1920, he asks a teacher in Hebrew not to get angry for mistakes in his homework — "because I am already angry for both of us." But for Litt, there's only one regret: the "treasurehed by Brod — but two surprises were in store for archivists in Jerusalem.</p> <p>"We discovered unpublished drawings, neither signed nor dated, but that Brod had kept," said Litt, who showed drawings of characters on small pieces of paper, including drawings of Kafka's mother and a self-portrait.</p> <p>"The big surprise we received when we opened these documents was his blue notebook, in which Kafka wrote in Hebrew, signing 'K', his usual signature," Litt said.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18821214> <p>In one of the entries in his notebook, dated to 1920, he asks a teacher in Hebrew not to get angry for mistakes in his homework — "because I am already angry for both of us."</p> <p>But for Litt, there's only one regret: the "treasure" from Switzerland included German leaflets written by Kafka, but none of them unpublished.&nbsp;</p> message 59408340 With infection rate at near zero, Israel lifts most coronavirus restrictions New measures mean no limits on number of people allowed to congregate indoors or outside, as life largely returns to pre-pandemic times; restrictions for non-vaccinated also lifted; four new diagnoses Monday out of 22,360 tests Iris Lifshitz Kliger https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/Hk61qV7cu Tue, 01 Jun 2021 8:8:57 +03:00 Israel on Tuesday lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, six months after the launch of the world-leading vaccination drive that has seen the daily infection rate in the country plummet to near zero. As of Tuesday morning, Israel had 350 active COVID cases, with just four new cases diagnosed Monday from 22,360 tests, showing a positivity rate of almost 0.0%. More than 5 million people in Israel have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine out of the total population of 9 million. The new measures mean that there will no longer be a limit on the number of people allowed to congregate in any setting, whether indoors or outside, as life largely returns to pre-pandemic times. "This is a day of celebration," said Tomer Mor, a representative of an association of restaurant owners. "We are happy to be back serving our customers, including children, at full capacity," he said. All Israelis, regardless of vaccination status, were also able to access all public amenities and people were no longer required maintain a distance of two meters from one another. People were still required to wear masks in shared indoor spaces, although the Health Ministry is expected to review its position on this later this month. Restrictions were also to remain in place for international travelers in order to prevent new variants of the virus from entering the country and spreading among its population. The Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a new advisory against non-essential travel and travel to countries with high morbidity, and quarantine requirements after returning from some countries will remain in place. From Monday, Israel no longer offered the coronavirus tests required before travel and upon entry to Israel free of cost. Health officials were expected to announce the roll-out of vaccines for young teens on Tuesday, after the inoculation was authorized for use by the American Food and Drug Association and the European Medicines Agency. Since the stariants of the virus from entering the country and spreading among its population.&nbsp;</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18820386> <p>The Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a new advisory against non-essential travel and travel to countries with high morbidity, and quarantine requirements after returning from some countries will remain in place.</p> <p>From Monday, Israel no longer offered the coronavirus tests required before travel and upon entry to Israel free of cost.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18820387> <p>Health officials were expected to announce the roll-out of vaccines for young teens on Tuesday, after the inoculation was authorized for use by the American Food and Drug Association and the European Medicines Agency. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the start of the pandemic, 6,412 people have succumbed to the virus in Israel.</p> <p><br></p> message 59400690 Senior health official: Unsure whether Israel has really achieved herd immunity With most virus restrictions on workplaces set to be lifted on Tuesday, Dr. Sharon Elroy-Preis says Health Ministry not mulling limiting travel to and from Israel anytime soon and will rule on vaccinating adolescents in coming days Itamar Eichner, Attila Somfalvi https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/HyvAe7115d Sun, 30 May 2021 21:52:28 +03:00 With nearly all coronavirus restrictions set to be lifted Tuesday, a senior health official said that it was still unclear whether Israel has achieved herd immunity. On Sunday, the Coronavirus Cabinet voted to accept the Finance Ministry's proposal to end all coronavirus restrictions on businesses — except for the indoor mask mandate — effective June 1. These measures include mandatory social distancing and a capacity limit for elevators, professional gatherings and eateries. In an interview with Ynet, Dr. Sharon Elroy-Preis, the Health Ministry's Head of Public Health, said that "herd immunity is a situation where people act normally and do not transmit the pathogen to one another." "It is true we lifted more and more restrictions and eventually we will return to normalcy and without face masks, but only then will we know whether the virus is really incapable of transmitting from one person to another," she added. Elroy-Preis noted that at least a third of Israelis have yet to get vaccinated against the virus or recover from it and are not protected from the illness, further demonstrating the country was still far from herd immunity. However, she said that there might be a significant amount of people who were sick with the virus and did not know about it. Elroy-Preis also said she believed it was still unsafe for Israelis to travel abroad this year. "You cannot know what will happen," she said. "Infection rates in some places around the world are still very high. The number of countries with low coronavirus morbidity is still very minimal and the situation globally is very far from Israel's." Elroy-Preis said that more and more countries will become safe for travel as countries continued to roll out the vaccine around the world, but it is difficult to predict what will be the situation in various destinations in the coming months. "Look at what is going on in the UK, they have a high inoculation rate but still have infection outbreaks among the unvaccinatedptionImageElement18821863> <p>Elroy-Preis also said she believed it was still unsafe for Israelis to travel abroad this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>"You cannot know what will happen," she said. "Infection rates in some places around the world are still very high. The number of countries with low coronavirus morbidity is still very minimal and the situation globally is very far from Israel's."</p> <p>Elroy-Preis said that more and more countries will become safe for travel as countries continued to roll out the vaccine around the world, but it is difficult to predict what will be the situation in various destinations in the coming months.</p> <p>"Look at what is going on in the UK, they have a high inoculation rate but still have infection outbreaks among the unvaccinated due to the Indian strain. COVID variants can turn everything on its head," she said.&nbsp;</p> <p>The public health chief said that the Health Ministry is not mulling restrictions on leaving or entering Israel anytime soon.&nbsp;</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18821864> <p>"A 10-day quarantine period with two mandatory tests is crucial," she insisted. "Fifty percent of confirmed cases that return from abroad are detected on the day they land and the other 50% ten days after. Quarantine has a purpose — detecting morbidity."</p> <p>Elroy-Preis said that Health Ministry officials are scheduled to meet in the coming week to discuss whether to expand the country's vaccination drive to include adolescents between the ages of 12–15.</p> <p>"I think this is a choice for the parents to make for their child, and the role of the Health Ministry is merely to provide the necessary information to make such a decision," she said, stressing the complexity of the issue.</p> <p>"On one hand, infection rates in Israel are very low, but the disease is still raging around the world and we are not barring entry — therefore children are still at risk," she said.</p> message 59395510 Israeli mixed martial artist is fighting her way to the top After winning world championships in Muay Thai and kickboxing, Nili Block is now setting her sights on the pinnacle of Mixed Martial Arts, hoping to be a pioneer who shatters misconceptions that the combat sport is not for women Tomer Ganor https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/SyMFW4pFO Sat, 29 May 2021 18:56:35 +03:00 Nili Block is on her way to making history again. The Israeli athlete, a five-time Muay Thai and one-time Kickboxing world champion, announced she was transitioning to Mixed Martial Arts. And if all goes to plan, she will in 2022 become the first Israeli woman to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where the likes of Ireland's Conor McGregor and America's Jon Jones rose to fame. Friends and supporters of the 26-year-old Block say she will become a world champion there too. Block first considered the idea to compete in the UFC three years ago after accomplishing every competitive goal she had set for herself. She and personal coach Benny Cogan began researching competitors who came from contact sports such as boxing, Muay Thai and taekwondo and transitioned to the UFC competitions. These include former Muay Thai world champion Valentina Shevchenko, now the unmatched champion in the women's Flyweight division. Block fought against Shevchenko, already a world champion Muay Thai fighter, when she was just 19 years old. "I remember the hype around Ronda Rousey a few years ago," Block says. "She was a pioneer among woman at the UFC and that image remains in my mind." "I knew that the day would come when I would want to compete there. Now I can already envision a rematch with Shevchenko," she says. If and when Block makes the move, she will be earning substantially more money than she is now. As an Israeli athlete she relies on a NIS 3,000 monthly stipend from the Federation of Non-Olympic Competitive Sports, but MMA competitions and broadcast contracts are far more lucrative in the U.S. and champions can earn millions of dollars from sponsorship deals. Block has already been offered contracts by the UFC when she was in the U.S. for training. The organization favors athletes with a good story and the fact that Block is Israeli and very popular could bring more Jewish viewers to the championships. "Of course the financial considerations play a part bute says.</p> <p>If and when Block makes the move, she will be earning substantially more money than she is now. As an Israeli athlete she relies on a NIS 3,000 monthly stipend from the Federation of Non-Olympic Competitive Sports, but MMA competitions and broadcast contracts are far more lucrative in the U.S. and champions can earn millions of dollars from sponsorship deals.</p> <p>Block has already been offered contracts by the UFC when she was in the U.S. for training. The organization favors athletes with a good story and the fact that Block is Israeli and very popular could bring more Jewish viewers to the championships.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18716173> <p>"Of course the financial considerations play a part but most of all I am an athlete in it for the sport," Block says. "Being the first Israeli woman there could be great, and just like I was a pioneer in Muay Thai I could be one in MMA.</p> <p>Five times a week, Block trains with Gabriel Kitober in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and five time every week she wrestles against leading athletes. &nbsp;</p> <p>During a visit to the U.S. last year she also participated in wrestling workshops alongside world renowned athletes like Brazilian Amanda Ribas.</p> <p>Block says she want to come to the UFC prepared to win and has heard of many leading fighters who disappeared soon after they joined the competitions.</p> <p>Coach Cogan agrees.&nbsp;</p> <p>"When we were in the States we saw how well Block performed against others, but we also saw how much she still has to learn. We are preparing by learning from our mistakes and will first compete in smaller venues and build from there," he says.</p> <p>"I have every confidence that she will be able to beat Shevchenko and win a title." &nbsp;</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18716174> <p>Block says transitioning to a new field of sport is frightening, but it will not be her first time.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I was involved in various sports and until I was 16 years old, I played [American] message 59387840 Israel to rule on teen vaccinations, link to heart inflammation next week Public Health chief says decision whether to recommend vaccination of youngsters will be made after inquiry is completed into 20 cases of myocarditis - heart muscle inflammation - that occurred among healthy males, days after inoculation Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/SJ5by11ptu Thu, 27 May 2021 14:39:21 +03:00 Israel will release next week its findings on heart inflammation cases in COVID-19 vaccine recipients and then decide whether to approve inoculations of youngsters aged 12-15, a senior health official said on Thursday. The Health Ministry said in April it was examining a small number of such cases among people who received Pfizer/BioNtech's COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made a similar statement earlier this month. "We will release our final report which will say whether there really is a link to the vaccine and what the implications are," said Sharon Alroy-Preis, the ministry's head of public health. Once the report is made public next week, she told Army Radio, "we will issue the most responsible recommendation we can to Israelis, and of course, ultimately, it will be up to parents" to decide whether to vaccinate their children. "I myself will vaccinate my 15-year-old son as soon as it is authorized," Alroy-Preis said. Dror Mevorach, one of the experts on the investigating panel, said the inquiry includes comparisons of cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, among vaccinated patients with those who have not been inoculated as well as data from previous years, before the pandemic. Mevorach, head of internal medicine at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, said most of the 20 myocarditis cases it has treated occurred among healthy males, with an average age of 22, one to four days after they received their second inoculation. Mevorach, who is also in charge of the hospital's COVID-19 units, said nearly all patients diagnosed with heart inflammation had light symptoms and made a full recovery. The Health Ministry has not yet said how many cases of myocarditis were detected in total among the more than 5 million people vaccinated in Israel. Israeli media reported the number was about 100. Over half Israel's population has been vaccinated in a rapid rollout. The number of new coronavirus cases, now averaging carditis cases it has treated occurred among healthy males, with an average age of 22, one to four days after they received their second inoculation.</p> <p>Mevorach, who is also in charge of the hospital's COVID-19 units, said nearly all patients diagnosed with heart inflammation had light symptoms and made a full recovery.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18654331> <p>The Health Ministry has not yet said how many cases of myocarditis were detected in total among the more than 5 million people vaccinated in Israel. Israeli media reported the number was about 100.</p> <p>Over half Israel's population has been vaccinated in a rapid rollout. The number of new coronavirus cases, now averaging about 20 a day, has been dropping steadily even as the economy has opened and most restrictions have been lifted or eased.</p> <p>The fact that the pandemic is no longer raging in Israel had changed the risk-benefit analysis in weighing whether to begin vaccinating youngsters, Mevorach said. "At the moment, in the Israeli bubble, we are no longer in an emergency situation so we can take the time to probe deeply," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.</p> <p><br></p> message 59387340 Senior health official says scrapping of Green Pass 'a risk' Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi tells Ynet there is still a risk on new COVID variants entering Israel and some measures, such as indoor mask mandate, will remain in place despite majority of remaining curbs are to be lifted on June 1 Attila Somfalvi, Alexandra Lukash https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/rJz11K16tO Thu, 27 May 2021 13:5:41 +03:00 A senior health official said Thursday that Israel's plan to scrap its Green Pass program from next week is a "risk", which he hopes will not "blow up in our faces". Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced on Sunday that Israel will not extend most domestic COVID-19 restrictions past June 1 as infection rate remain low throughout the country, including the need to present vaccination certificate at entrances to some public facilities. Health Ministry Director General Prof. Hezi Levi told Ynet despite the planned move to lift all remaining curbs, the pandemic "isn't over" and some measures, such as indoor mask mandate, will remain in place. "There is still an order to wear masks in confined spaces. There are still restrictions at Ben Gurion Airport. We have to remember there are [coronavirus] mutations and variants around the world and in Israel. That's why we still have to be very careful." The professor added the state is not enforcing well enough the mandatory quarantine for new arrivals from abroad and since Ben Gurion Airport is Israel's main port of entry, there is an increased risk of new variants entering the country. "The public also needs to show understanding and maturity and they are not doing it well enough, unfortunately. About 70% of those who have enter self-isolation for ten days with two coronavirus tests or 14 days [with no tests] do not do it and because of that, of course, we worry," he said. He said most of those leaving the country are subjected to rapid coronavirus tests and even serological examinations to determine whether someone has coronavirus antibodies. But, according to Levi, it is not enough to completely prevent the possibility of new variants entering the country. "Once a person who has returned from abroad comes in contact with others and does not stay in self-isolation, he can infect people and produce a chain of infection that we would not be aware of immediately." message 59384680 Bella Hadid's brother says in text he wants Israelis 'erased' Washington Free Beacon publishes screenshots of alleged exchange between Anwar Hadid and an Israeli woman, where he says, 'I wish them all to be erased from the planet,' while referring to Israelis; dismisses Israeli terror victims Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/B1Ltpb3tu Wed, 26 May 2021 22:1:42 +03:00 A brother of Palestinian model Bella Hadid, who recently published a host of inciting anti-Israel posts, was allegedly caught in a text message exchange, proclaiming he wants Israelis to be "erased from the planet". The Washington Free Beacon, an American political website, posted screenshots of private messages between Anwar Hadid and an Israeli woman, seemingly sent via Instagram direct messenger in 2018. According to the report, Taylor Amrani initiated the July 2018 conversation after Anwar made "really terrible" comments about the IDF and was hoping to "educate" him by providing information from the other side. Anwar responded to her by saying, "I don't give a f*** to know about the IDF, lady". He added that he wished "them all to be erased from the planet". It's unclear if he was referring to the Jewish state as a whole or Israeli soldiers only. Hadid also shared with her conspiracy theories about Israel, including that Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president who died in 1952, remains in charge of the Jewish state. When Amrani sent him a picture of a 13-year-old Israeli girl who had been stabbed to death in her bedroom by Palestinian terrorists, Hadid dismissed it by saying, "at least she had a home to sleep in." The 21-year-old male model later appears to have issued a response to Amrani's allegations on his Instagram stories. "Most Israeli citizens at some point are considered IDF soldiers due to mandatory military service. My words are not to be used to generalize Jewish people with IDF soldiers and the horrific acts that some have carried out." Hadid is dating UK singer Dua Lipa, who in the past wrote that Israelis are "not real Jews" and claimed Hamas was created by Israeli government to justify "occupation, oppression, ethnic cleansing, and murder". He is represented by IMG Models, which did not respond to a request for comment. Anwar is a son of Palestinian-American real estate multimillionaire Mohamed Hadid and a brother of models Bella in." &nbsp;</p> <p>The 21-year-old male model later appears to have issued a response to Amrani's allegations on his Instagram stories. "Most Israeli citizens at some point are considered IDF soldiers due to mandatory military service. My words are not to be used to generalize Jewish people with IDF soldiers and the horrific acts that some have carried out."</p> <p>Hadid is dating UK singer Dua Lipa, who in the past wrote that Israelis are "not real Jews" and claimed Hamas was created by Israeli government to justify "occupation, oppression, ethnic cleansing, and murder". &nbsp;</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18732017> <p>He is represented by IMG Models, which did not respond to a request for comment.</p> <p>Anwar is a son of Palestinian-American real estate multimillionaire Mohamed Hadid and a brother of models Bella and Gigi Hadid. The family has been campaigning against Israel on their social media accounts since the start of the recent war in Gaza over two weeks ago.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bella Hadid even posted a video of herself at a Palestinian rally, shouting "from the river to the sea," which is a widely understood call to annihilate the Jewish state. &nbsp;</p> message 59383850 Israel's cinemas reopening Thursday after 14-month hiatus Despite the anticipated reopening, most of the movies expected to screen in the near future have already been released on streaming platforms, including Gal Gadot's 'Wonder Woman 1984' and Oscar winner 'Nomadland' Ina Toker https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/B1kkd1nKd Wed, 26 May 2021 19:25:23 +03:00 Israel’s cinemas are finally set to reopen on Thursday after a 14-month, pandemic-induced hiatus. Despite the anticipated reopening, the variety of films available for screening is limited, with most films set to be shown have been released over the past year on streaming platforms Among the films set to be screened in Israel's cinemas in the near future is "Wonder Woman 1984", starring Israeli movie star Gal Gadot. The film was released on HBO max streaming service back in December. It is the follow-up to the 2017 blockbuster about the renowned Amazonian superhero and also stars Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live) and Chris Pine (Star Trek). Another anticipated movie whose theatrical release was scrapped due to coronavirus is Disney and Pixar’s "Soul". The movie, which was released on Disney’s streaming service in 2020 to critical acclaim, was directed by Pete Docter (who also directed Pixar’s "Inside Out") and stars Jamie Foxx as the lead. Soul is about a music teacher who dies on the same day he gets his dream job, and his soul's subsequent journey in the afterlife. Pixar's latest offering is suitable for older and younger viewers alike, despite some undoubtedly heavy topics on display such as death, loss and heartbreak. "Nomadland" is another 2020 movie that got a myriad of accolades upon release, including an Oscar for best picture. It was unavailable for streaming in Israel via any legal platforms. The movie was directed by independent filmmaker Chloé Zhao, and tells the story of people who chose, or were otherwise forced, to live as nomads and drifters in rural America. The movie stars Frances McDormand (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) alongside a myriad of unprofessional actors who really live the nomad lifestyle and portray themselves in the movie. message 59375880 Top health expert: Israel has herd immunity, child vaccines unneeded Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba tells Ynet there is no need to press for vaccination of children aged 12-15 despite Health Ministry's upcoming approval and parents should 'decide for themselves' Attila Somfalvi https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/H1psq7cY00 Tue, 25 May 2021 11:24:21 +03:00 A top health expert said Tuesday that Israel has reached herd immunity against coronavirus and there is currently no pressing need to vaccinate children. Israel became one of the first countries in the world to lift major restrictions on movement following its high-paced vaccination campaign as the number of new daily COVID cases in the country continues to decrease. "We have reached herd immunity, without vaccinating children. There is no justification and no need to oblige and press for their vaccination," Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba Medical Center, told Ynet. "On the other hand, the recommendation at the moment is to vaccinate the youth, but anyone can take it on a personal level and decide for themselves," she added. In the coming days, the Health Ministry is expected to approve the vaccination of children aged 12 and over following a similar approval by the FDA. U.S. regulators earlier this month authorized Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for use in children as young as 12. Meanwhile, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced Sunday evening that Israel will not extend most domestic COVID-19 restrictions past June 1 as infection rate remain low throughout the country. Edelstein said the decision, which will quash all indoor and outdoor caps on gatherings, came following rigorous consultations with Health Ministry officials. In addition, all Israelis, regardless of their vaccination status, will be able to enter all public amenities. However, masks will remain mandatory indoors until further discussions on the matter. Limits on entry and exit from the country will also remain in place. message 59373380 Citing security situation, Simon Cowell may forgo X Factor Israel appearance British producer's direct involvement in format's Israeli reiteration expected to give show's ratings a significant boost following a three-year hiatus; production company says Cowell will feature in show as planned Ran Boker https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/rks8Dwtt00 Mon, 24 May 2021 22:54:39 +03:00 British producer and the creator of the popular television music competition franchise X Factor, Simon Cowell, may not take part as a judge in the next season of the show's Israeli version, citing the security situation in the country. In case Cowell does ultimately choose to not feature in the show, the judges' panel will be comprised of prominent musicians Aviv Geffen and Margalit Tzanani as well as the winter of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest Neta Barzilai. Cowell’s direct involvement in the format's Israeli reiteration — produced by Israeli television production company Reshet — was expected to give its ratings a significant boost following a three-year hiatus. "We know that Simon Cowell expressed legitimate concerns regarding his arrival in Tel Aviv during the days of fighting,” an official statement from Reshet read. “Now that a ceasefire has begun, his attitude has changed. If there are any changes, we will announce them in an orderly manner. Simon Cowell will take part in the next season of 'The X Factor'." The 61-year-old producer garnered global fame after appearing on such TV shows as "American Idol", "Pop Idol", "The X Factor" and among others, captivating viewers with his rough and sarcastic persona. Thanks to his performances as judge and producer on these shows, he became one of the most influential figures in the global music and television industries. message 59367050 Israel moves to lift almost all COVID restrictions next week Starting June 1, all Israelis, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to enter all public amenities; indoor mask mandate to remain in place for time being; citizens advised to avoid traveling abroad to virus hotspots Ynet https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/rk9bVZuK00 Sun, 23 May 2021 20:23:27 +03:00 Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced Sunday evening that Israel will not extend most domestic COVID-19 restrictions past June 1 as coronavirus morbidity remains low throughout the country. "Israel is returning to normalcy!" Edelstein said in a statement. "Less than six months ago, we have launched the vaccination campaign. With the help of the health system and the excellent mobilization on the part of the citizens of Israel, we have accomplished this." Edelstein said the decision, which will quash all indoor and outdoor caps on gatherings, came following rigorous consultations with Health Ministry officials. In addition, all Israelis, regardless of their vaccination status, will be able to enter all public amenities. However, masks will remain mandatory indoors until further discussion on the matter. Limits on entry and exit from the country will also remain in place. Edelstein urged Israelis to keep in line with the measures, for the time being, adding that if morbidity resurges, they will be reintroduced. He also called on Israelis to avoid traveling abroad to destinations with high infection rates as to not import new coronavirus variants that could bypass vaccine protection. Following this move, Israel will become the first nation in the world to allow its citizenry such freedoms amid the pandemic following a highly successful inoculation rollout. As of Sunday evening, 5,439,855 Israelis have been fully vaccinated against the pathogen, accounting for more than half of the country's 9.3 million citizens. There are currently 510 active COVID-19 patients in Israel, with 59 of them hospitalized in serious condition. The country's daily infection rate has hovered at around 0.2% for the past several weeks. message 59366440 Coronavirus czar: Health Ministry still mulling vaccinating adolescents Ash says believes review of existing science will not show link between COVID shots and handful of reports of teenagers and young adults developing heart problems after receiving jab; ministry will make data available to public Attila Somfalvi https://www.ynetnews.com/health_science/article/B1b626wKO Sun, 23 May 2021 17:28:25 +03:00 Israel's top coronavirus health expert, Prof. Nachman Ash, said on Sunday that the Health Ministry was set to deliver its decision on whether to start vaccinating adolescents against the pathogen in the coming days. "We are conducting a comprehensive investigation into reports possibly linking vaccines and a small number of cases of myocarditis [inflammation of the heart muscle] in adolescents," Ash said. "Once we make the decision, we will present them to the public," he said, adding that he believed the results would conclude that vaccines did not pose any danger. According to a New York Times report published on Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was looking into reports that a handful of teenagers and young adults who were inoculated against coronavirus may have developed heart problems, citing the CDC's vaccine safety group. Ash also warned that COVID-19 outbreaks were still possible among vaccinated civilians following a recent outbreak at a retirement home in the city of Ra'anana, which came off the heels of a similar chain of infections in which 18 tenants of a nursing home in Be'er Sheva were found to have contracted the virus despite having received both doses of the Pfizer Inc vaccine. "We will have such outbreaks from time to time. In all but one case, patients were either asymptomatic or displayed very mild symptoms," Ash said. "This can happen and probably will happen again." "We are keeping a close eye on cases among the inoculated population, with an emphasis on the elderly, and we see no change in the trajectory of the disease. There is a consistent decline in morbidity," he said. Ash said the ministry was still awaiting test results to determine whether the latest outbreak was caused by new variants of the virus. "I suspect not," he said. "I believe the British variant is responsible for the reported illnesses," he said. message 59331920 Israeli soccer player courts controversy with A-League goal celebrations Tomer Hemed of Wellington Phoenix celebrates netting a double by draping himself in Israeli flag and saying a prayer while wearing a yarmulke; Phoenix general manager says players should be 'very sensitive to what is going on in the Middle East' Reuters https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/SJbAuT1Yd Mon, 17 May 2021 15:1:46 +03:00 Israel striker Tomer Hemed is facing scrutiny from Australia's A-League over his politically-sensitive goal celebrations during Wellington Phoenix's 2-2 draw with Melbourne City on Sunday. The Wellington forward netted a double at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium and showed his support for his home nation amid the most serious hostilities in years with Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza. After scoring a penalty late in the first half, Hemed ran to a group of supporters in the terraces and draped himself in an Israeli national flag. And after securing the draw in the final minutes with his second goal of the game Hemed pulled out a kippah, a traditional Jewish cap, from under his uniform and placed it on his head. The 34-year-old covered his face with one hand and pointed to the sky. "We respect people's rights for their expressions but at the same time we have to be very sensitive to what is going on in the Middle East and the human tragedy that is happening there," Phoenix general manager David Dome told New Zealand media on Monday as the team arrived back in Wellington. "We've already spoken to Tomer about that and over the next couple of days we will look into it in more detail and come up with a response about how we're going to handle it on the day as well. "I don't expect a punishment but I think we will get a 'please explain' from the league." Hemed posted pictures of himself with the Israel flag on social media and dedicated the game to his country with a message calling for peace "soon". Hemed was given a yellow card immediately after his second celebration. "I know for a fact that when he does that celebration he's praying for peace," Dome said. "He doesn't see it as an insensitive celebration at all." The controversy overshadowed Phoenix's return to Wellington on Monday, their first homecoming of the season after the opening of a "travel bubble" between Australia and New Zealand. The sole New Zealand team in the A-League had been forced to base themselves e league."</p> <p>Hemed posted pictures of himself with the Israel flag on social media and dedicated the game to his country with a message calling for peace "soon".</p> <p>Hemed was given a yellow card immediately after his second celebration.</p> <IMG id=captionImageElement18325880> <p>"I know for a fact that when he does that celebration he's praying for peace," Dome said. "He doesn't see it as an insensitive celebration at all."</p> <p>The controversy overshadowed Phoenix's return to Wellington on Monday, their first homecoming of the season after the opening of a "travel bubble" between Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>The sole New Zealand team in the A-League had been forced to base themselves in Australia due to COVID-related travel restrictions.</p> message