Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-2-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,227 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. There are currently 10,513 active cases of which 266 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 94 on ventilators. There have been 2,865 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The head of Hamas in Gaza reportedly has Covid [thought you’d want to know that].

A senior Health Ministry official said that Israel is currently seeing the beginning of a third coronavirus wave due to a continued rise in infection.

A recent study by Tel Aviv University shows that around a third of all Israelis are experiencing severe levels of anxiety, up from 10% pre-pandemic.

Blue & White Chairman and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said his party will vote today in favor of a bill to disperse the Knesset and hold another election. He said that he will not support the no-confidence vote if PM Netanyahu agrees to pass the two-year budget, which he has so far refused to do.

If the long-term budget is passed, Netanyahu would be forced to commit to the PM rotation agreement next year and yield power to Gantz. But if the government collapses, Netanyahu would remain as prime minister throughout the three-month election campaign and until a new coalition is formed.

Netanyahu would also benefit by further delaying the budget talks, which would give him more time for the coronavirus vaccine to arrive and the economy to begin recovering next year — and a boost in a new election.

A 40 member delegation from Bahrain arrived in Israel yesterday for two days of talks on boosting economic cooperation and tourism.

Israel has transferred over $1 billion in funds to the Palestinian Authority. The transfer of tax and customs funds had been halted after the PA halted all cooperation with Israel in May, in response to Israeli plans to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. Those plans were put on hold after Israel signed peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.