Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-18-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 2,809 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. There are currently 22,258 active cases of which 419 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 105 on ventilators. There have been 3,050 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The coronavirus cabinet will meet on Sunday to discuss closures.

Israelis are booking appointments to begin receiving the vaccine beginning on Dec. 21st. The first to be vaccinated will be front line healthcare workers, followed by the elderly and those at-risk. The PM, President and IDF Chief of Staff will be among the first to be vaccinated — to set an example for the general public.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. The general visited Israel as part of a larger visit to the region.

Yamina leader Naftali Bennet rejected an offer from PM Netanyahu to join with Likud in forming a narrow right-wing government and avoid elections. Netanyahu offered Bennet the defense ministry and 2 other senior portfolios.

Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. has been awarded a $332 million contract to provide the Swiss army with a tactical mobile software defined radio (SDR) network solution.

Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef is in the UAE. During his 4 day visit, he will preside over the inauguration of the newly certified Jewish nursery school and, in a special ceremony, invest Rabbi Levi Duchman as Rabbi of the Emirati Jewish community. The chief rabbi will also break ground on the community’s planned mikveh (ritual immersion pool), tour the new KAF kosher restaurant in the Burj Khalifa, inspect the production of kosher poultry locally, and dedicate a new community synagogue in Abu Dhabi.

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