Israel news summary

Israel News for 10-16-2020

News Update

To listen to an audio version click here. (for supporters)

The Health Ministry reported 1,608 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. The contagion rate has dropped to 4.2%. There are currently 44,000 active cases of which 713 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 247 on ventilators. There have been 2,128 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet voted to reopen small businesses that do not involve interaction with the public, kindergartens, take-away food services and beaches starting Sunday. The ban on the public to leave home beyond one kilometer was also lifted. Cities and communities classified as “red”, indicating high coronavirus infection rate, will remain in lockdown until the contagion rate in those areas is lowered.

Yitzhak Ilan, a former deputy director of the Shin Bet domestic security agency who oversaw hundreds of counterterrorism operations, died of COVID-19 today at the age of 64.

The Knesset yesterday officially approved the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE by a vote of 80 to 13. The Arab List party voted against the agreement.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, the top American diplomat for the Middle East, met with the Speaker of Lebanon’s Parliament yesterday in Beirut. This comes a day after US and UN sponsored talks began between Lebanon and Israel to solve a territorial dispute related to offshore exploration rights.

Thousands of demonstrators, in various locations, protested against PM Netanyahu and called for his resignation.

Shlomo Sulayman, the oldest person in Israel and one of the oldest in the world, passed away earlier this week at the age of 117. Sulayman was born in Yemen in 1903 and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1949. He lived on his own after his wife died several years ago at age 94. He walked to synagogue every day until the coronavirus kept him isolated at home. His grandson said, “His mind was clear until his last moment. People would come and ask him questions about the faith and do exactly as he told them after he looked over the texts.” He passed away with his family by his side and is survived by his six children and dozens of grand, great and great-great grandchildren.