On Saturday, 2 rockets fired from Gaza landed in the sea just west of Tel Aviv. Hamas claimed the rocket launch was triggered by a lightning storm and was not instigated by the terror group but officials in Israel said they believed the Islamic Jihad was behind the incident. In response, IDF fighter jets, helicopters and tanks struck a rocket manufacturing site and military posts belonging to Hamas, whom Israel holds responsible for all terror coming out of Gaza. In a rare move, Hamas fired two anti-aircraft Sam-7 missiles at the Israeli helicopters carrying out the strikes. The helicopters were not hit.
The Health Ministry today reported 6,562 new Covid cases on Sunday, resulting in a 4.83% infection rate. There are 110 Covid patients hospitalized in serious condition. PM Bennett warned Sunday that daily cases could soon surge to around “50,000 per day” – and various health officials said the spread of the new Omicron strain would peak in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Israel is lifting restrictions on allowing in foreigners who have been triple vaccinated or have recovered from Covid. The Health Ministry said travelers from 199 countries Israel has designated “orange” would have to prove in advance they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 and would be subject to PCR testing before and after arrival. The US, however, is still considered a “red” country, which means that visitors require special permission to enter Israel. PM Bennet said yesterday that Israel would this week begin loosening curbs on international travel, based on a recommendation from health experts who claim that travels curbs are unnecessary since less than 5% of newly confirmed cases in Israel emanated from travel abroad.
Israel today began offering a 4th Covid vaccine dose to people over 60 and to healthcare workers. The 4th dose can be given at least 4 months after the third.