The Health Ministry today reported 21,501 new Covid cases on Sunday, resulting in a 12.31% infection rate. Since vaccinated individuals are only required to use home rapid tests, there are most likely many more Covid cases than officially reported. But as long as the cases do not require hospitalization, the situation is not as worrisome as during the initial waves of the virus, pre-vaccine. There are 222 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition, with 57 on ventilators. The country is open to tourists from most countries, including the US.
The cabinet voted to remove the requirement of possessing a Green Pass in order to enter malls, after retailers complained of challenges in enforcing the rule.
Former PM Netanyahu is suing former PM Ehud Olmert for defamation and is seeking nearly $270,000 in damages. The reason for the suit is that last April Olmert criticized Netanyahu and said that “what is irreparable is the mental illness of the prime minister, his wife and his son.” Olmert was convicted of fraud in 2014 and served most of a 27-month prison sentence. Netanyahu is currently on trial for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. [You can’t make this stuff up! All you can say is “OY”.]
Israel’s national library says the number of visitors to its Arabic website more than doubled last year. Around 650,000 users, predominantly from the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Algeria, visited the National Library of Israel’s English and Arabic sites in 2021. One of the most heavily trafficked resources on the Arabic website is a newspaper archive with more than 200,000 pages of Arabic publications from Ottoman and British Mandate Palestine.
Despite nearly two years of low occupancy, since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, construction of new hotel rooms in Israel is at a five year high. To read more, click here.