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New Hospital Approved for Construction in Southern Israel Amid Gaza War

Israeli soldiers operate at the Shajaiya district of Gaza city amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terror group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, Dec. 8, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Yossi Zeliger

The Israeli government on Thursday announced the approval of a new hospital to be built in the city of Be’er Sheva, the latest move toward expanding health offerings particularly in southern Israel.

“Today we are taking a big step forward towards the establishment of a new hospital in Be’er Sheva,” Israeli Health Minister Uriel Bosso said in a statement. “This is historic news that will change the face of our health system for generations to come. This is an important move for the Negev, which will lead to an increase in medical assistance in all areas and will directly affect all citizens of Israel.”

He added, “Building a new hospital in the Negev is a just move that will improve the lives and health of the residents, and will be a significant source of employment and research.”

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who approved the allocation of funds for the construction, also praised the hospital’s approval.

“This is an important and significant decision for Be’er Sheva and the entire southern and Negev region, which will substantially improve medicine in the community and advance the provision of excellent health services to the residents of the south,” he said. “This step is part of a number of steps designed to increase investment in infrastructure in the [Gaza] periphery, and there is no doubt that it will lead to an increase in the population in these areas.”

The new hospital, to be operated by Sheba Medical, will feature 600 beds. Officials hope it will open in 2028 at a cost of 1.5-2.5 billion NIS ($395 million to $659 million).

Opening a new hospital in the southern region is something that has been long debated — the lack of one has created issues during the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which borders the Jewish state to the south. Those injured in southern Israel during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, as well as Israeli soldiers injured in the ensuing Gaza war, were forced to be brought to hospitals in the country’s central region, such as Tel HaShomer near Tel Aviv or Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Karem. In some cases this meant an hour-long flight from Gaza or the border area by helicopter.

Despite the travel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been able to cut down the death rate among wounded soldiers in Gaza to 6.3 percent, well below the current average, as revealed last week by the IDF;s chief medical officer. Having a nearby hospital in the event of a future war in Gaza could result in saving more lives.

“The new hospital will strengthen medicine in the south of the country … and reduce disparities in access to health services,” Israel’s Health Ministry said in a separate statement.

The post New Hospital Approved for Construction in Southern Israel Amid Gaza War first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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