Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-10-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 1,464 new coronavirus in the last 24 hours. There are currently 16,561 active cases, of which 124 are in serious condition and 39 on ventilators. The total number of corona related deaths has risen to 350. A partial lockdown will come into effect today on several neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Lod, Ramla, Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Malachi.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned that if Israel reaches 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases a day, the government might have to impose a general lockdown. The PM yesterday admitted that he allowed the reopening of the country too early. He also said that the government would be providing more financial assistance to unemployed workers.

Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-8-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,320 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. There are currently 14,104 active cases, of which 107 are in serious condition and 36 on ventilators. There have been 343 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

On Monday the cabinet voted to close gyms, night clubs, bars and event halls and to restrict restaurants and cafes to 20 diners inside the premises and another 30 in open air spaces. Synagogues will be limited to 20 people. Public buses will be limited to 20 passengers. All social gatherings are limited to 20 people. According to some estimates, about 50% of all bars and clubs could close permanently as a result of the restrictions.

The Health Ministry told the heads of Israeli hospitals to cut 30% to 50% of their non-COVID-19 care in outpatient clinics and redirect those resources to fighting the virus.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz went into quarantine today after it was discovered that he was exposed to an infected person on Sunday night. He is reportedly feeling well and continuing his duties.

Audio for 7-8-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-6-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 817 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. There are currently 11,856 active cases, of which 88 are in serious condition and 32 on ventilators. The number of Israelis currently in quarantine has gone up to 40,250 after the order allowing phone tracking of confirmed coronavirus carriers by the Shin Bet went into effect on Thursday.

The coronavirus cabinet is set to meet today and is expected to reimpose certain restrictions including the closing of gyms, bars, night clubs, cultural events, parks and synagogues. Restaurants and cafes, while remaining open, will be restricted to 20 diners inside the premises and another 30 in open air spaces. Buses will be restricted to 20 passengers.

The Defense Ministry announced that Israel launched a new spy satellite, the Ofek 16, early today. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the state of Israel.”

Last week a large fire broke out at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Iranian officials revealed that the fire caused extensive damage and could slow the development of advanced centrifuges. They believe the fire was caused by a cyber attack. When asked whether Israel had anything to do with the fire, Defense Minister Gantz said, “Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”

IDF aircraft struck terror targets in northern Gaza yesterday in response to 3 rockets that were fired into Israel from Gaza. One of the rockets was intercepted by the Iron Dome and 2 landed in open fields.

Audio for 7-6-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-1-2020

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The Health Ministry today reported 773 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Israel has thus far conducted over one million virus tests. There are currently 7,838 active cases, of which 56 are in serious condition and 24 on ventilators.

The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center warned that, “Without the proper precautions taken to slow down the virus’ morbidity, within two weeks the number of new daily patients could reach 1,000 a day, with serious conditions and deaths rising by dozens accordingly.”

Dr. Erez Onn, the head of the Hospital Division at the Health Ministry, said, “We are opening more and more dedicated wards for coronavirus patients. The wings are filling up, we’re seeing a rise in serious condition patients.”

The Health Ministry has decided to recommend cities and neighborhoods with high infections rates be placed under lockdown, including Dimona, Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, and Ramle. In total, the Health Ministry estimates that dozens of towns and neighborhoods could be placed under lockdown.

The deputy education minister, Meir Porush, said yesterday that many yeshiva students are avoiding getting tested if they have symptoms, based on directives issued by their rabbis, for fear that the government might impose closures on the Haredi enclaves.

PM Netanyahu met with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman yesterday to discuss annexation. After the meeting the PM indicated that Israel would most likely miss the July 1st date he set for the annexation process to begin.

To read an op-ed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding Israel’s proposed annexation of parts of the West Bank, click here.

The Shin Bet Security Agency announced on Tuesday it exposed an attempt by Hezbollah to recruit Israeli Arabs from the Galilee. Shin Bet officials said that two women from the town of Majd al-Krum were investigated at the beginning of June after meeting with a journalist from Lebanon who tried to recruit them to the terrorist group. The journalist, Beirut Hamud, is a former Israeli who also lived in the northern Arab community before relocating to Lebanon in 2013, where she resides with her husband, Bilal Bizari. Hamud reportedly met with the two Israelis in Turkey last December.

The IDF has decided to shorten mandatory military service for men from 32 to 30 months.

The U.S. State Department has put the ambassador to Israel’s official beachfront residence in Herzliya up for sale for $87 million.

Audio for 7-1-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-29-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry today reported 492 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. There are currently 6,556 active cases, of which 58 are in moderate condition, 46 in serious condition and 24 on ventilators. The rest are displaying mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said he had recommended reimposing restrictions on public gatherings and events, warning that Israel was at the “beginning of a second wave” of coronavirus infections. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri reportedly criticized what he said were the Health Ministry’s “excessive demands,” adding: “No further steps are needed. You have to learn to live with the coronavirus.” The special coronavirus cabinet made no decisions yesterday and will meet again today.

In a letter to the coronavirus cabinet, former Health Minister Litzman recommended closing all schools, which he said are the main source of infections. He wrote, “It’s clear to everyone that young children cannot be expected to wear masks and adhere to the proper and necessary rules of hygiene. Therefore, there is no option other than to remain at home until things calm down.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz told US officials today that Israel would most likely push back plans to annex areas of the West Bank on July 1st, while it focuses on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. Gantz told US envoy Avi Berkowitz, “July 1 is not a sacred date,” and that, “dealing with the coronavirus and its socioeconomic and health consequences is the more pressing issue that needs to be tended to right now.”

US officials reportedly have said that they would not approve annexation of the Jordan Valley, which is something that PM Netanyahu has promised to do. It seems that the annexation of 30% of the West Bank, based on the Trump peace plan, is now off the table.

An annual report by the US State Department has ranked Israel as one of the top countries in the battle against human trafficking.

Audio for 6-29-2020

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Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-26-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry has reported 441 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Partial lockdowns and new restrictions have been placed on neighborhoods in Ashdod and Bat Yam because of a spike in infections in those areas. Restrictions imposed earlier this week on neighborhoods in Jaffa and Rahat will be lifted with increased enforcement of health regulations in the area.

The coronavirus cabinet will meet on Sunday at the request of Defense Minister Benny Gantz and will discuss imposing more lock-downs on areas that experience a rise in COVID-19 cases. Military Intelligence issued a report recommending the government reconsider its decision to lift public restrictions imposed due to the spread of coronavirus. The IDF warned that Israel is entering a second wave of the pandemic, and that it will be no less severe than the first.

PM Netanyahu announced yesterday that Israel and the UAE would cooperate in the fight against the coronavirus. He said that an official announcement by the health ministers of both countries would be coming soon.

According to Syrian media sources, 10 pro-Iranian militants were killed in airstrikes by unidentified aircraft in central Syria last night. One of those killed in the strikes was an Iraqi leader named Abu Al-Hassan. Afghani militants were also among those killed in the strikes. Earlier this week airstrikes hit several Iranian related targets throughout Syria.