The Health Ministry reported 560 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. The contagion rate has dropped to 1.7%, but fewer tests were conducted this week, which could account for the drop in new cases. There are currently 8,958 active cases of which 327 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 147 on ventilators. There have been 2,639 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
This week the IDF razed a Bedouin village, comprised of 80 dwellings, near Tubas in the Jordan Valley (West Bank). The IDF said it had destroyed structures “built illegally in a firing zone”. The Jordan Valley falls in the West Bank’s Area C that is fully controlled by Israel. Under Israeli regulations, Palestinians cannot build structures in the area without permits, which are typically refused, and demolitions are common.
Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich called for Israel to apply sovereignty over the West Bank before the next U.S. presidential term begins, in the event that VP Joe Biden wins the 2020 presidential elections. U.S. vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris said she and Biden would oppose unilateral action by Israel that “undermine” a two-state solution, and reinstate funding for the Palestinians.
The United Nations approved a draft resolution that spoke of the Temple Mount solely as an Islamic holy site, by referencing it only by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif. It was one of seven pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions that the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee in New York passed on Wednesday. Nine countries, including Israel, voted against the resolution. These were: Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and the United States. 16 countries abstained, including Austria, Belarus, Cameroon, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Honduras, Kiribati, Sao Tome Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Togo, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
A German representative, who spoke on behalf of the European Union, said that in spite of the support of many of the member states, the EU opposed the solely using al-Haram, al-Sharif to describe the Temple Mount. He stressed the “need for language on the holy sites of Jerusalem to reflect the importance and historic significance of the holy sites for the three monotheistic religions.“
The Tel Aviv municipality dumped sewage into the sea as a result of heavy rains that overwhelmed the city’s sewage system. The dumping caused the city’s beaches to be covered by residues of dirt, oils, animal carcasses and other contaminants. The beaches were closed.