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Coronavirus Having Negative Effect on Israeli Economy

ICEJ News Briefs

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20 Feb 2020
Coronavirus Having Negative Effect on Israeli Economy
Air carrier Cathay Pacific announced on Wednesday afternoon that they are halting all flights between Hong Kong and Israel following measures imposed by the Israeli Ministry of Health to address the novel coronavirus outbreak. The cancellation will go into effect on Monday and last at least until late March. In related news, the Manufacturers Association of Israel issued a statement on Wednesday asking the government for support to small and medium sized businesses struggling to cope with the economic fallout from the crisis.

“The coronavirus continues to spread, unfortunately, and the impact on the global and Israeli economy is already beginning to reveal itself," Manufacturers Association president Ron Tomer wrote in a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. "As the time required to eradicate the virus grows longer, the economic impact grows exponentially."

In related news, Israeli NGO Adva Center issued their annual report for 2019 this week showing that wages for Israeli workers have lagged far behind the national GDP. The same report also showed that most Israelis have not experienced an increase in their standard of living commensurate with the growth in the national economy.

Locusts Plaguing Israel’s Neighbors
Locust swarms of Biblical proportions have ravaged agricultural lands in several countries across a wide swath of South Asia and Eastern Africa this winter, with Israel’s neighbors in Jordan on high alert for the possibility of the swarms hitting them. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that "Today the swarms are as big as major cities and it is getting worse by the day."

Iran Caught Violating UN Arms Export Ban
A report was posted on Wednesday by the NGO Conflict Armament Research detailing Iranian violations of UN Security Council mandated bans on the export of major weapons systems. The report included evidence that Iran has supplied drone technology and components to the Houthi rebels in Yemen and combatants in several other countries, including Syria where Iranian-supplied drones were launched against targets in Israel. The report is bolstered by recent statements by the US Navy about shipments of Iranian weapons it has intercepted on their way to the Houthis.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia on Thursday after telling reporters in Ethiopia the day before that his talks with Saudi officials will include “a lot of time talking about the security issues with the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran in particular."

Israel Blesses the World
An Israeli technology company called Body Vision announced this week that it has developed a process which will allow doctors to detect early-stage lung cancer through a minimally invasive procedure navigating the affected organ. The machines needed to perform the procedure have been placed in hospitals in Israel and the US, saving lives and giving hope to millions of people around the world at risk from lung cancer.

BDS Movement Suffers Another Defeat
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat this week when international luxury brand Roltime Group announced that it has received exclusive rights to import and market French watch brand Pierre Cardin in Israel.Roltime Group CEO Dudu Polterak said “The decision to import and market the brand in Israel has come to answer a crowd of customers who are looking for luxury watches in an accessible and attractive price range. In Israel, watches will be marketed at the same brand prices in Europe.”

Today's video gives some analysis of the worsening situation in Syria and its effects on Israel