Clashes erupt between Palestinians and Israeli police at Jerusalem holy site

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019   •   884

Israeli police fired sound grenades to disperse Palestinians during confrontations on Sunday (August 11) outside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque where tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered for the Eid al-Adha holiday, witnesses said.

A Palestinian ambulance service reported at least 14 Palestinians were taken to hospitals for treatment. While an Israel public radio said four police officers were also injured.

Scuffles ensued and the crowd fled as the sound grenades exploded and smoke wafted through the compound, witnesses said.

In a statement, police said they had deployed forces at the site in anticipation of disturbances and “dispersed rioters”.

Tensions had mounted at the start of Eid al-Adha as the holiday overlapped this year with Tisha B’Av, a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the two temples.

Israel allows re-entry of foreign caregivers

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The State of Israel’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) has allowed the entry and re-entry of foreign workers in the caregiving sector, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said in an advisory.

These include Filipino caregivers who were not able to return to Israel due to the travel restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“The re-entry policy covers licensed foreign caregivers who left Israel to visit their home country prior to the country’s March 18, 2020 travel restriction as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19,” the POEA said.

Israel’s Ministry of Interior also expanded the entry outline of foreign workers in the caregiving section including issuance of work permits for foreign caregivers entering Israel for the first time. 

“The entry of both vacationing and new caregivers will be subjected to an official application from the employer/patient’s family with the Population and Immigration Bureau, as well as required to follow all the conditions on their quarantine,” the agency explained. 

As such, upon arrival in Israel, the caregiver must undergo quarantine for 14 days in a facility which is not at the employer/patient’s home. 

The expenses and financial needs of the caregiver during the entire quarantine period will be shouldered by the employer, while the worker will not be paid of his/her salary during the quarantine.

53 Filipinos stranded in Israel back in PH – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A group of 53 Filipinos who were repatriated from Israel has arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a statement on Monday, the DFA said the repatriates landed in Manila on Friday after leaving Istanbul on Oct. 1.

The Filipinos were assisted by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv under the voluntary repatriation program (VRP) of Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA), the department added.

The flight included six senior citizens, a student, a lady with a medical case, and a one-and-a-half-month-old baby born in Israel who was issued an emergency travel document by the embassy.

The embassy said Filipinos have long wanted to go home but were stranded in the country due to the global pandemic and the series of lockdowns imposed by the Israeli government.

“Many of them have overstayed their visas in Israel, and I am glad that they will be able to at last reunite with their families after a long absence,” Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial said.

Imperial said the embassy and Israel’s immigration authority have been working together since last year to ensure orderly treatment for Filipino with no valid visas to enable their return to the Philippines.

“The embassy evaluates the applications and endorses them to PIBA, for further assessment and approval,” he said.

“VRP grantees are exempt from arrest and detention, and are provided free plane tickets to the Philippines,” he added.

The ambassador also expressed gratitude to Filipinos who have provided assistance to stranded fellowmen and those affected by the lockdowns.

The DFA said the second batch of 36 VRP grantees from Tel Aviv is expected to arrive in Manila on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Like Pac-Man, innovative Israeli coronavirus mask gobbles food

UNTV News   •   May 19, 2020

Israeli inventors have developed a coronavirus mask that allows diners to eat food without taking it off, a device that could make a visit to a restaurant less risky.

A squeeze of a lever, much like a cyclist operates a handbrake, opens a slot in the front of the mask so that food can pass through.

The process could get messy with ice cream or sauces, but more solid morsels can be gobbled up in a flash in the style of Pac-Man in the iconic video game.

“The mask will be opened mechanically by hand remote or automatically when the fork is coming to the mask,” said Asaf Gitelis, vice president of Avtipus Patents and Inventions, who demonstrated the device at its offices near Tel Aviv.

“Then you can eat, enjoy, drink and you take out the fork and it will be closed, and you’re protected against the virus and other people sitting with you.”

The company said it plans to start manufacturing the mask within months and had already submitted a patent. It said it would likely sell at a 3 to 10 shekel ($0.85 to $2.85) premium above the price of the simple pale blue medical masks many Israelis wear.

Outside a juice bar in Tel Aviv, Reuters showed a cellphone video of the mask in action. Opinion was divided.

“I think this mask that enables me to eat while I’m still wearing it, it’s a must have,” said Ofir Hameiri, a 32-year-old graduate student.

But maskless and eating an ice cream cone, Ron Silberstein, a 29-year-old musician, said: “I don’t think this mask could hold this kind of ice cream – it’s dripping all over. I wouldn’t want to wear it afterward”.

Israel has largely reopened its economy after a dramatic drop in cases of the novel coronavirus. But restaurants are open only for takeout for the time being. (Reuters)

(Production: Eli Berlzon, Rami Amichai, Rinat Harash, Jeffrey Heller)

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