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Hospital chiefs warn of shortage in ECMO machines for critical COVID cases

With number of serious infections climbing, top Health Ministry official said to acknowledge manpower problems for treating hospitalized coronavirus patients

A nurse monitors an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, May 8, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
A nurse monitors an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, May 8, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they happened.

IDF rebukes officer filmed shoving left-wing activist at West Bank rally

The military announces that an officer filmed shoving a protester to the ground during a rally by left-wing Israeli and Palestinian activists over the weekend in the West Bank has been censured.

The Israel Defense Forces says an investigation found that some protesters physically attacked soldiers and verbally accosted them in an alleged effort to provoke them, while blocking a road to the Avigayil outpost. The protesters have denied violently blocking the road.

Despite the alleged violence by the activists, the IDF says the troops should not have used riot dispersal means like tear gas and stun grenades.

It also says the officer was wrong to shove the demonstrator, while criticizing the video of the incident as “partial,” and not reflecting “the violence against the military force.”

The left-wing Combatants for Peace group, which helped organize the protest, slammed the rebuke as insufficient.

“We call for the defense minister’s immediate interference in this shameful decision,” it says.

Security footage shows 2 Palestinian fugitives in northern town hours after escape

Security camera footage aired by Israeli television networks shows two of the six Palestinian security prisoners in the northern town of Na’ura hours after escaping from nearby Gilboa Pirson.

The video (at 18 seconds) shows the two walking from a mosque, where the Kan public broadcaster says the six split up into pairs, after failing to get help for their escape plans.

Channel 13 news broadcasts a separate video, which it says shows Munadil Nafiyat — who was recaptured with fellow Islamic Jihad member Iham Kamamji, overnight in Jenin — crossing into the West Bank on Rosh Hashanah, a day after the jailbreak.

According to the network, a man seen in the video carrying two bags as he walks with Nafiyat was an accomplice also arrested in Jenin.

Police release video from arrest of final Palestinian fugitives

The Israeli police release footage of commandos during the arrest of the final two Palestinian fugitives in the West Bank city of Jenin.

 

 

Court remands the last Palestinian fugitives caught, for 10 days

Munadil Nafiyat, one of the six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from the high-security Gilboa Prison, attends a remand hearing at the Nazareth Magistrate's Court court, September 19, 2021. (David Cohen/ Flash90)
Munadil Nafiyat, one of the six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from the high-security Gilboa Prison, attends a remand hearing at the Nazareth Magistrate's Court court, September 19, 2021. (David Cohen/ Flash90)

The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court orders Palestinian security prisoners Iham Kamamji and Munadil Nafiyat be remanded for 10 days, following their arrest overnight in the West Bank city of Jenin, after two weeks on the lam.

Iran’s new FM to visit New York for UN General Assembly

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference in Moscow, Russia, on August 3, 2012. (AP/Misha Japaridze)
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a press conference in Moscow, Russia, on August 3, 2012. (AP/Misha Japaridze)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s new foreign minister leaves tomorrow on his first official trip to the United States, where he will meet counterparts from countries party to the 2015 nuclear deal but not the US.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly that begins Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tells a news conference today.

He “will have separate and bilateral meetings” with the foreign ministers of China, France, Britain, Russia, and Germany, Khatibzadeh says.

A meeting with US officials is “not on the agenda,” he adds.

The nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the US — gave Iran sanctions relief in return for tight controls on its nuclear program, monitored by the UN.

Tehran has gradually rolled back its nuclear commitments since 2019, a year after then-US president Donald Trump withdrew from the multilateral deal and began reimposing sanctions.

Talks in Vienna that began in April have stalled since June.

In August, ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi became Iran’s new president taking over from moderate Hassan Rouhani, the principal architect on the Iranian side of the 2015 deal.

Khatibzadeh says that no decision has been made yet as to whether to hold a meeting bringing together all the countries still party to the nuclear deal.

It would depend on whether doing so would be “useful for the negotiations,” he adds.

Hospital chiefs warn of shortage in ECMO machines for critical COVID cases

A nurse monitors an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, May 8, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
Illustrative: A nurse monitors an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, May 8, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Hospital chiefs say in a meeting with top Health Ministry officials that they are facing a shortage of ECMO machines for treating some critical coronavirus patients, according to Hebrew media reports.

“There’s a problem of manpower,” Nachman Ash, the ministry’s director, is quoted as saying by Army Radio.

The hospital chiefs also say they lack enough ICU beds, Channel 12 news reports.

The warnings come as serious COVID-19 cases have begun rising again, after appearing to plateau earlier this month.

Senior US health official predicts booster access to be expanded in coming weeks

A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pennsylvania, September 14, 2021. (AP/ Matt Rourke)
A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pennsylvania, September 14, 2021. (AP/ Matt Rourke)

WASHINGTON — The US National Institutes of Health director says a government advisory panel’s decision to limit Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans who are 65 and older, as well as those at high risk of severe disease is a preliminary step and predicts broader approval for most Americans “in the next few weeks.”

Dr. Francis Collins tells “Fox News Sunday” that the panel’s recommendation Friday was correct based on a “snapshot” of available data on the effectiveness of Pfizer’s two-shot regimen over time. But he says real-time data from the US and Israel continue to come in showing waning efficacy among broader groups of people that will need to be addressed soon.

Collins, who also appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” says: “I think there will be a decision in the coming weeks to extend boosters beyond the list that they approved on Friday.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, praises the advisory board’s plan for covering a “good chunk” of Americans. But he stresses that “this is not the end of the story,” based on evolving data and says the recommendations will likely be expanded in the coming weeks to months.

The Food and Drug Administration will consider the advisory group’s advice and make its own decision, probably within days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also is set to weigh in this week.

Bennett taps new public affairs chief at PM’s office, a post unfilled since 2015

Elad Tena (Courtesy)
Elad Tena (Courtesy)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has tapped a longtime news editor to serve as head of public affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, a post that has been unfilled since 2015.

The Prime Minister’s Office says the nomination of Elad Teneh, who heads the Kan public broadcaster’s online division, will be brought for government approval at an upcoming cabinet meeting.

“In light of his long years of experience and deep experience with legacy and online media in Israel, the prime minister has decided to appoint him as the head of the Public Affairs Department,” a statement from the PMO says.

Knesset committee okays testing requirement for schools after Sukkot

The Knesset Education Committee approves new rules requiring students from pre-K through sixth grade to present negative coronavirus tests when they return from school

Iran says ready to sell Lebanon fuel if Beirut asks, after delivery arranged by Hezbollah

People hold portraits of the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, as they gather to welcome tankers carrying Iranian fuel, upon their arrival from Syria in the city of Baalbeck, in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, on September 16, 2021. (AFP)
People hold portraits of the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, as they gather to welcome tankers carrying Iranian fuel, upon their arrival from Syria in the city of Baalbeck, in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, on September 16, 2021. (AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran says it’s willing to sell fuel to Lebanon’s government to help ease shortages, days after a first delivery of Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah entered the country.

“If the Lebanese government wants to buy fuel from us to resolve the problems faced by its population, we will supply it,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says.

He tells a news conference that the Islamic republic had already sold fuel to a “Lebanese businessman,” without naming the Hezbollah terror group.

Tehran-backed Hezbollah promised in August to bring fuel from Iran to alleviate the shortages sowing chaos in Lebanon, in defiance of US sanctions.

On Thursday, dozens of tanker trucks carrying Iranian fuel arranged by Hezbollah arrived in Lebanon and were due to fill the tanks of fuel distribution firm owned by Hezbollah, which has been under US sanctions.

Lebanon’s new Prime Minister Najib Mikati had told CNN the shipment “was not approved by the Lebanese government.”

He was “saddened” by “the violation of Lebanese sovereignty.”

Netherlands king unveils new memorial with names of all Dutch Holocaust victims

King Willem-Alexander puts a stone in an act of remembrance when unveiling a new monument in the heart of Amsterdam's historic Jewish Quarter on September 19, 2021, honoring the 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
King Willem-Alexander puts a stone in an act of remembrance when unveiling a new monument in the heart of Amsterdam's historic Jewish Quarter on September 19, 2021, honoring the 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AMSTERDAM — King Willem-Alexander officially unveils a new memorial in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jewish Quarter honoring more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust, and the Dutch prime minister vows that it will remind citizens today to be vigilant against antisemitism.

Designed by Polish-Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, the memorial is made up of walls shaped to form four Hebrew letters spelling out a word that translates as “In Memory Of.”

The walls are built using bricks, each of which is inscribed with the name, date of birth and age when they died of one of the more than 102,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps during World War II or who died on their way to the camps.

Jacques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee, officially opens the monument with the king in the presence of dignitaries and Holocaust survivors. After walking through the gates, each pick up a white stone and placed it in front of a commemorative wall, a Jewish tradition when visiting graves.

The king helps Grishaver to pick up and put down his stone. After the ceremony, he speaks to three survivors of the Holocaust.

Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the monument also should force people to confront the question of whether the Netherlands did enough to protect Jews during the war and what he calls “the cold reception for the small group who returned from hell after the war.”

He calls the era “a black page in the history of our country” and says the monument also has an important contemporary message “in our time when antisemitism is never far away. The monument says — no, it screams — be vigilant.”

Lawyer of final 2 fugitives alleges they were ‘viciously beaten’ after capture

Munadil Nafiyat (L) and Iham Kamamji (R), the two last Palestinian fugitives from the Gilboa Prison jailbreak, are arrested on September 19, 2021 (Courtesy)
Munadil Nafiyat (L) and Iham Kamamji (R), the two last Palestinian fugitives from the Gilboa Prison jailbreak, are arrested on September 19, 2021 (Courtesy)

The two Palestinian fugitives from Gilboa prison captured early this morning were “viciously beaten” after they were apprehended, their lawyer tells Palestinian media.

Iham Kamamji and Munadil Nafiyat fled the high-security Israeli prison two weeks ago along with four other Palestinian security prisoners. Four of the fugitives — including terrorist Zakaria Zubeidi, infamous among Israelis for violent terror attacks committed during the Second Intifada — were apprehended last week.

According to Kamamji and Nafiyat attorney Mundhir Abu Ahmad, the two Palestinian fugitives were also fired upon twice by Israeli soldiers during the chase — once near the Israeli city of Afula and again near the West Bank through a gap in the fence.

Kamamji was sentenced to life for the murder of 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri in 2006, a crime in which he expressed pride in closing remarks at his trial. Nafiyat was arrested by Israeli forces in 2020 for arms dealing and remained in pretrial detention before his escape earlier this month.

Education Ministry: Half of teachers have gotten COVID booster shots

An Israeli teacher receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, on August 24, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli teacher receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, on August 24, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Education Ministry reports that only half of teachers in Israel have received a coronavirus vaccine booster shot.

Starting October 1, anyone eligible for a booster shot who hasn’t received one will have their Green Pass revoked, requiring them to present a negative coronavirus test to attend various venues and events. Schools are included in the Green Pass system, with teachers required to be vaccinated or regularly display a COVID-19 negative test result.

Police start using text messages to remotely track those in quarantine

Police officers enforce COVID-19 emergency regulations in Jerusalem, August 11, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Police officers enforce COVID-19 emergency regulations in Jerusalem, August 11, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Police have begun using remote tracking to enforce coronavirus quarantine rules, sending text messages that will reveal the location of those required to self-isolate when they click on a link.

Top health official to reportedly weigh live broadcasts of vaccine deliberations

Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash attends a press conference in Jerusalem on August 29, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash attends a press conference in Jerusalem on August 29, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash will consider having future deliberations on vaccine approval be broadcast live to the public, according to Channel 12 news.

The report comes as the ministry faces flak over the matter following last week’s meeting of an FDA advisory panel to discuss recommending booster shots of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, which the public was able to watch live.

Haifa apartment building evacuated over fears of collapse

An apartment building in Haifa is being evacuated over fears of collapse, in the latest such incident around the country.

Residents of the building reported hearing the sound of a boom, according to the Ynet news site.

2 Umm al-Fahm men indicted for alleged attack on ambulance during unrest in May

Israeli security forces spray protesters with skunk water during clashes in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 19, 2021. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
Illustrative: Israeli security forces spray protesters with skunk water during clashes in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 19, 2021. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Police announce the indictment of two young men from the northern city of Umm al-Fahm for allegedly hurling stones and shooting fireworks at police officers, as well as blocking an ambulance amid ethnic unrest that rocked the country during fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists in May.

The ambulance was carrying a wounded officer who was shot, police say. The two suspects, ages 18 and 20, hurled stones at the vehicle and attempted to attack the medical staff, according to the statement.

The indictment against the two men was filed on Friday, but is only released for publication today.

Sudan said hesitant to have public ties with Israel without White House signing cermony

This combination of pictures created on October 23, 2020, shows an Israeli flag during a rally in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on September 19, 2020; and a Sudanese flag during a gathering east of the capital Khartoum on June 3, 2020. (JACK GUEZ and ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)
This combination of pictures created on October 23, 2020, shows an Israeli flag during a rally in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on September 19, 2020; and a Sudanese flag during a gathering east of the capital Khartoum on June 3, 2020. (JACK GUEZ and ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

A senior diplomat in Sudan is quoted by the Kan public broadcaster explaining the country’s absence from last week’s US-hosted event celebrating the Abraham Accords, a series of normalization deals between Israel and several Arab nations.

The unnamed diplomat says it will be tough for Sudan to have public ties with Israel until the countries sign an agreement to establish diplomatic ties at the White House.

The online event Friday marked one year since the normalization deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were signed during a White House hosted by then US president Donald Trump. Sudan and Morocco later joined the accords, but neither held signing ceremonies at the White House.

Teachers unions blast COVID test requirement for schoolkids after Sukkot

Secretary-general of the Teachers Union Yaffa Ben-David attends a Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee meeting ahead of the opening of the new school year, August 5, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Secretary-general of the Teachers Union Yaffa Ben-David attends a Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee meeting ahead of the opening of the new school year, August 5, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Yaffa Ben David, head of the national Teachers Union, threatens to appeal to the High Court of Justice, after the coronavirus cabinet voted to require students in pre-K through 6th grade to present a negative coronavirus antigen test when returning to school after vacation.

“Someone here has it mixed up,” Ben David tells the Knesset Education Committee. “Administrators and kindergarten teachers aren’t bouncers or coronavirus inspectors; they are educators and they build their relationships on trust.”

A union representing kindergarten teachers also blasts the measure, saying “we are are not police officers and our role is not prevent entry to kindergarten. The state must come to its senses, quickly.”

France says Macron, Biden to talk in ‘coming days’ amid spat over submarine deal

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron meet during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron meet during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PARIS — US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron will talk on the phone in the coming days amid high tension over a submarines contract, a French government spokesman says.

The announcement comes after France recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra, unhappy over secret US-Australia negotiations that led to the cancellation of a multi-billion Australian order for French submarines.

“There will be an exchange on the phone in the coming days,” spokesman Gabriel Attal tells the BFM news channel today, adding that the request for the conversation had come from Biden.

Macron will ask the US president for “clarification” after the announcement of a US-Australian-British defense pact as part of which Canberra is to buy American nuclear-powered submarines, canceling a huge contract for diesel-electric French vessels.

“We want explanations,” Attal says, adding that the US had to answer for “what looks a lot like a major breach of trust.”

Earlier today, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected France’s accusations that Canberra lied about its plans to cancel the contract, saying he had raised concerns over the deal “some months ago.”

Taliban orders Kabul municipality’s female workers to stay home

Women march to demand their rights under the Taliban rule during a demonstration near the former Women's Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 19, 2021. (AP Photo)
Women march to demand their rights under the Taliban rule during a demonstration near the former Women's Affairs Ministry building in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 19, 2021. (AP Photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital says, detailing the latest restrictions on women by the new Taliban rulers.

The decision to prevent most female city workers from returning to their jobs is another sign that the Taliban, who overran Kabul last month, are enforcing their harsh interpretation of Islam despite initial promises by some that they would be tolerant and inclusive. In their previous rule in the 1990s, the Taliban had barred girls and women from schools, jobs and public life.

In recent days, the new Taliban government issued several decrees rolling back the rights of girls and women. It told female middle- and high school students that they could not return to school for the time being, while boys in those grades resumed studies this weekend. Female university students were informed that studies would take place in gender-segregated settings from now on, and that they must abide by a strict Islamic dress code. Under the US-backed government deposed by the Taliban, university studies had been co-ed, for the most part.

On Friday, the Taliban shut down the Women’s Affairs Ministry, replacing it with a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” and tasked with enforcing Islamic law.

Today, just over a dozen women stage a protest outside the ministry, holding up signs calling for the participation of women in public life. “A society in which women are not active is (sic) dead society,” one signs read.

“Why are they (the Taliban) taking our rights?” says one of the protesters, 30-year-old Basira Tawana. “We are here for our rights and the rights of our daughters.”

The protest lasts for about 10 minutes. After a short verbal confrontation with a man, the women get into cars and leave, as Taliban in two cars observe from nearby. Over the past months, Taliban fighters had broken up several women’s protests by force.

Remand of driver suspected of running over 12-year-old boy while drunk extended

Barak Khoury, 12, was killed when riding his bicycle and hit by a car on Yom Kippur, September 15, 2021 (Courtesy)
Barak Khoury, 12, was killed when riding his bicycle and hit by a car on Yom Kippur, September 15, 2021 (Courtesy)

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court orders that a man suspected of fatally running over a 12-year-old boy while drunk on Yom Kippur be held in custody for another five days.

“After examining the investigatory material and in particular in light of the driver’s past which includes many convictions, I believe that investigators are in the right and the danger in this case justifies an extended remand,” the judge says, in apparent reference to Eran Azoulay’s previous reported conviction for drunk driving.

Azoulay is suspected of killing Barak Khoury, a 12-year-old from Ramat Gan, who was riding his bicycle on Route 4 near the town of Givat Shmuel in the central Israel on Wednesday evening.

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