Israeli researchers say they’ve developed vaccine for skin cancer in mice
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Pollard says he’s asked Netanyahu to call Trump on parole, due to wife’s illness

The former spy says his partner has been diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer: ‘I can’t take care of my wife, it’s a matter of life and death’

Jonathan Pollard speaks to Channel 12 at his home. (screenshot)
Jonathan Pollard speaks to Channel 12 at his home. (screenshot)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Monday’s developments as they unfolded.

Hamas calls on Gazans to stop waving swastika banners at protests

The Hamas terror organization is calling on protesters in the Gaza Strip to refrain from waving flags with swastikas during border demonstrations, Channel 12 reports.

The new instruction not to use any flags besides the Palestinian one comes days after the Israeli army published photos of a swastika banner being flown during Friday’s rally.

The Nazi Swastika flag, a symbol of murder and hatred, raised yet again during a Hamas riot in Gaza today.In the face of this hatred stand IDF soldiers, ready and determined to defend lsrael.

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Israel Defense Forces‎‏ ב- יום שישי, 2 באוגוסט 2019

The Nazi symbol has been waved by protesters on previous occasions during protests.

Hamas says it does not want “the Zionist occupation to make use of this” to delegitimize the protests.

 

Trump proposes tighter gun control tied to immigration reform

US President Donald Trump is suggesting that Republicans and Democrats agree on tighter gun control and link this to his pet project of immigration reform.

“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform,” Trump tweets as he prepares to address the nation on two weekend mass shootings that left 29 dead and dozens wounded in Texas and Ohio.

“We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!” Trump writes.

— AFP

Civil service commissioner approves new director-general for Justice Ministry

Civil Service Commissioner Daniel Hershkowitz has approved Justice Minister Amir Ohana’s appointment of his associate Ophir Cohen to serve as the ministry’s director-general.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel had criticized Ohana’s decision to fire previous director-general Emi Palmor in favor of Cohen, who has little relevant experience in law.

But Hershkowitz says he was convinced by Ohana’s assertion that Cohen will be able to work with the ministry’s professional team to keep things running properly.

Gantz in implied criticism of Lapid: Let’s not mimic Netanyahu’s style

Blue and White chief Benny Gantz sends some implied criticism in the direction of his partner and deputy in the party leadership, Yair Lapid, after Lapid issues a controversial video lampooning ultra-Orthodox politicians as money-hungry.

Haredi leaders have accused Lapid of dabbling in anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Gantz tweets: “The strength of Israeli society comes from its unity, in all sectors — secular and religious, Jews and non-Jews, left and right. That is the appropriate way for Israel’s leadership to behave at this time.”

Blue and White party leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz ahead of a press conference in Tel Aviv on March 21, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Referencing the upcoming Tisha B’Av fast in which Jew mourn the destruction of the Second Temple, Gantz notes the saying that the Temple fell due to needless hate, and says: “We should adopt a different style to that of Netanyahu and focus on gratuitous love.”

Lapid won’t accept Likud proposal not to seek disqualification of controversial parties

Blue and White’s Yair Lapid said earlier this morning he would oppose a Likud-led initiative to refrain from requesting the disqualification of political parties ahead of the next election.

MK David Bitan has said he will seek an agreement from all parties not to attempt to ban any party from running for the Knesset, reasoning that such challenges were already heard (and rejected) ahead of the April elections.

But Lapid told Kan Bet radio he will not sign on to such a proposal, claiming it was an attempt to legitimize “the devotees of Baruch Goldstein,” referring to the far-right Otzma Yehudit party.

Otzma Yehudit’s Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to reporters at the Knesset before his far-right party submits its electoral slate to the Central Elections Committee on August 1, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

“This group and the group at Balad should not be in the Knesset,” he says, in reference to the controversial Arab party that is part of the Joint (Arab) List.

Lapid did not say whether Blue and White would once again petition for the parties to be banned.

Gaza report: Friday’s weekly protests called off due to holiday

A Hamas-affiliated TV channel is reporting that Friday’s weekly border protests are canceled this week.

Al-Resalah says “The National Commission for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege decided that events this week will be limited to performing Eid al-Adha prayers in the Malaka camp east of Gaza City and the Return camp east of Khan Younis.”

It said the committee decided not to hold rallies “to ease the situation for citizens and allow them the opportunity to prepare for the blessed holiday.”

— with Adam Rasgon

GPS disruptions at Ben Gurion Airport end after two months

Disruptions to the satellite navigation systems of airplanes flying around Ben Gurion International Airport have ended after around two months, the Airports Authority says.

The issue had been an ongoing one in recent months, with fingers pointed at Russian forces in nearby Syria as possibly being behind the GPS problems. The issue did not cause any accidents or safety incidents.

An airplane drives along the runwar at Ben Gurion International Airport, on May 8, 2018. (Flash90)

The interference with the airplanes’ GPS reception appeared to stem from a form of electronic warfare known as “spoofing,” which Russia has been accused of doing in the past as a defensive measure, despite the disruptions it causes to nearby aircraft and ships.

It is not clear what brought about the end of the disruptions, and whether Israel’s security establishment was involved.

Poll: PM wins on diplomacy and security, fails on social issues, integrity

A new poll shows most Israelis rate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highly on security and diplomatic issues, while a majority gives the premier poor grades on Israel’s social cohesion under his leadership, as well as on his personal integrity.

Sixty percent of Israelis questioned in the survey by the Israel Democracy Institute said Netanyahu’s performance on security was good; 56% approved of his security record and 50.5% said he performed well on the Iranian threat.

But 51% said he had failed on reducing societal gaps (only 22% approved) and 49% criticized his integrity (23% approved and 18% said it was middling).

Putin urges new arms talks with US to avoid ‘chaos’

Russian President Vladimir Putin urges the United States to begin new arms talks following the demise of a key arms control agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

“In order to avoid chaos that has no rules, limits and laws, one needs to once again weigh all possible dangerous consequences and start serious dialogue without any ambiguities,” Putin says in a statement. “We are ready for it.”

He says said Russia would be “forced” to develop new missiles if the US does the same.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual televised phone-in in Moscow on June 20, 2019. (Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP)

— AFP

Netanyahu accuses Lapid of anti-Semitic tone in campaign video

Echoing charges by ultra-Orthodox leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Blue and White’s Yair Lapid of anti-Semitic incitement over a campaign video in which he mocked Haredi leaders as greedy.

“The incitement by prime ministerial candidate Yair Lapid, with its anti-Semitic tone, proves once again why Yair Lapid mustn’t be allowed to be prime minister,” he says.

Lapid and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz have agreed that if the party forms the next government they will share the premiership between them, with Lapid taking over after two and a half years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on July 14, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/POOL/AFP)

Lapid has rejected claims his video fed off Jewish stereotypes, saying he was “not impressed that they scream ‘hate, hate’ every time someone criticizes them. There is real anti-Semitism in the world: Jews are shot in synagogues. This is not anti-Semitism.”

Mandel foundation to donate $20m for innovative Beersheba wildlife center

US Jewish philanthropist Morton Mandel’s foundation will donate $20 million for the construction of an innovative wildlife center in Beersheba, the city’s Mayor Ruvik Danilovich announces.

The center, to open in 2021, will serve as an educational center for animal-human interaction and enable visitors to learn of animal relationships and their place in ecological systems.

Danilovich says the donation is the largest in Beerhseba’s history and will go towards the establishment of “an international initiative that will serve as a global breakthrough in how humans relate to animals.

The center will reportedly incorporate animals of endangered species or ones that for various reasons cannot be released into the wild. The animals will not be in cages but rather in an open “savanna-like” enclosure, according to the municipality.

After gun massacres, Trump calls for tighter gun-control laws

US President Donald Trump calls for a “red flag” law to tighten gun controls following back-to-back weekend massacres that left 29 dead and dozens wounded in Texas and Ohio.

In a nationwide address from the White House, Trump says lawmakers “must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that if they do, these firearms can be taken through rapid due process.”

US President Donald Trump speaks alongside Vice President Mike Pence about the mass shootings from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, August 5, 2019 (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

“That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders,” the president added.

The proposed law, first pitched by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, would allow law enforcement agencies and relatives to temporarily take guns from people they suspect to be dangerous to themselves or others.

Trump also calls for the nation to “condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”

— AFP

Lapid: My joke wasn’t at the expense of Haredim, it was at ours

Yair Lapid responds to the prime minister’s accusations that his campaign ad had anti-Semitic undertones against the ultra-Orthodox.

“Unbelievable, Netanyahu, the greatest inciter in the history of Israel, is attacking me for a WhatsApp joke. Hey, Bibi, shall I start tracking down [your] quotes? The poison and hatred you have been dripping into Israeli society for years?” he tweets.

“Besides, my joke was about the billions you’ve handed over to Haredi operators, so it wasn’t at their expense, it was at ours.”

Egypt’s Sissi calls deadly car blast ‘terrorist incident’

A huge explosion caused by a speeding car in central Cairo overnight, killing at least 20 people, was a “terrorist incident,” Egypt’s president says.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident,” reads a post on Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s official Facebook and Twitter feeds.

The collision happened just before midnight Sunday, when a speeding car driving against traffic crashed into three other vehicles outside the National Cancer Institute in the Egyptian capital.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi addresses the chamber after he was sworn in for a second four-year term in Cairo, June 2, 2018. (Egypt’s presidency media office via AP)

Four of the 20 people killed remain unidentified, the health ministry said, while 47 others were wounded.

Police say they suspect the Hasm group, an armed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, of being behind the incident.

— AFP

Israeli researchers say they’ve developed vaccine for skin cancer in mice

Israeli researchers say they have developed a vaccine and treatment for skin cancer in mice, using nanotechnology.

In a study published today in Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at Tel Aviv University say they were able to alert the immune system to the presence of melanoma cells and lead to an efficient response against the disease.

A melanoma lesion (YouTube screenshot)

Researchers prepared tiny pods with chemicals characteristic of cancerous cells and launched them directly at immune system cells that moderate the immune reaction.

Once melanoma cells were identified by the mice’s bodies, the immune system sprang into action and was far more effective in destroying the malignant growths.

The researchers say the treatment appears effective both as a preventative measure and as a treatment of an existing disease.

UK says joining US in ‘maritime security mission’ in Gulf

Britain says it will join the United States in an “international maritime security mission” to protect merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tension with Iran.

The move follows a spate of incidents — including the seizure of ships — involving Iran and Western powers, in particular Britain and the US, centered on the vital Gulf thoroughfare.

“This deployment will reinforce security and provide reassurance for shipping,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says in a statement.

A file photo of the HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, which will relieve HMS Montrose in the Persian Gulf as Iran threatens to disrupt shipping (Ben Sutton/UK Ministry of Defence via AP)

“Our aim is to build the broadest international support to uphold freedom of navigation in the region, as protected under international law.”

— AFP

Blue and White official tells paper Lapid ‘only deepening rift’ with Haredim

A Blue and White party official criticizes Yair Lapid for his tweet of a controversial video that criticized ultra-Orthodox politicians and which was slammed by them as anti-Semitic.

The unnamed official tells Haaretz: “Lapid is only deepening the rift with the Haredi parties, instead of mollifying them.”

The anonymous source complained the the party’s no. 2 was “leading a discourse that will make it harder to cooperate with these parties after the election.”

Erekat: Use of swastika at Gaza protests a despicable act

Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, criticizes the use of Nazi imagery at Gaza protests.

“Raising a swastika, or any Nazi symbol is a despicable act that should be condemned with the strongest possible terms by all human beings,” he tweets.

Investigators deny they have video footage of young Ethiopian’s death

The Police Internal Investigations Department officials is denying reports it has video footage documenting the shooting of 19-year-old Ethiopian Israeli Solomon Tekah, whose death at the hands of an off-duty police officer last month sparked mass protests.

They say investigators were unable to locate a security camera that was filming the scene of the attack.

The officer was freed from house arrest after evidence showed he had not aimed his weapon at Tekah, but he still faces court-ordered restrictions in light of expected charges of reckless homicide.

Pollard say he’s asked Netanyahu to call Trump on parole, due to wife’s illness

Former Israeli spy in the US Jonathan Pollard says he has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call on US President Donald Trump to commute his parole, saying his wife Esther is very sick.

Speaking to Channel 12 news, Pollard says: “It’s a matter of life and death, it’s a very human issue, it’s a crisis for my wife and me.”

Esther Pollard has recently been diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, he says, and his parole restrictions are making it impossible for him to take care of her.

“I can’t take care of my wife, I’m not mobile, if my wife needs something in the middle of the night I can’t help her,” he laments.

Army arrests two armed Palestinians in northern West Bank

The Israeli army says troops arrested two Palestinian suspects in the northern West Bank.

The two were searched and found to be armed with handguns and ammunition. They were taken in for questioning.

Iran said to boost funding of Hamas to $30 million a month

Iran recently agreed to raise its funding of the Hamas terror group to $30 million a month, Channel 12 reports.

During a meeting in Tehran with Hamas leaders last month, Iranian officials also asked the organization to collect and provide it with intel on the locations of Israel’s missile stockpiles, the report says.

PMO says Netanyahu continues to work on bringing Pollard to Israel

The Prime Minister’s Office says Israel “remains committed to Jonathan Pollard.”

It adds that Netanyahu “will continue to seek his return to Israel.”

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Israeli researchers say they’ve developed vaccine for skin cancer in mice

Israeli researchers say they have developed a vaccine and treatment for skin cancer in mice, using nanotechnology.

In a study published today in Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at Tel Aviv University say they were able to alert the immune system to the presence of melanoma cells and lead to an efficient response against the disease.

A melanoma lesion (YouTube screenshot)

Researchers prepared tiny pods with chemicals characteristic of cancerous cells and launched them directly at immune system cells that moderate the immune reaction.

Once melanoma cells were identified by the mice’s bodies, the immune system sprang into action and was far more effective in destroying the malignant growths.

The researchers say the treatment appears effective both as a preventative measure and as a treatment of an existing disease.