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The Health Ministry reported 8,164 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. There are currently 59,229 recorded infections, with 824 people hospitalized in serious condition and 207 on ventilators. There have been 3,495 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The PM is calling for a more stringent nationwide lockdown that would begin on Thursday.
Over 1.5 million Israelis have already been vaccinated. Some are claiming that PM Netanyahu is speeding up the process to attempt to vaccinate the entire population prior to the March 23rd election, to boost his chances of winning. [But regardless of the motive, getting everyone vaccinated is a good thing anyway you view it.]
A security officer shot and killed a suspected Palestinian terrorist at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank yesterday. The suspect was spotted approaching the junction carrying a knife. After the officer shot a warning shot into the air, the suspect threw the knife at the officer, who then shot him.
The Foreign Ministry is set to announce the opening of two temporary missions in the United Arab Emirates – an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a general consulate in Dubai. This comes after Israel opened a temporary embassy in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. PM Netanyahu is expected to officially launch the diplomatic missions during his visit to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, both the UAE and Bahrain have already begun preparing to open their own embassies in Israel.
Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage Affairs Rafi Peretz announced on Tuesday that he will not run for Knesset in the upcoming elections and that he is quitting political life. Peretz’s resignation comes in the wake of a possible union of his Jewish Home party with Yamina, the party led by former Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett. Bennett had demanded Peretz’ resignation as a prerequisite for any alliance between the 2 parties.