The Health Ministry reported 1,434 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. There are currently 11,761 active cases of which 287 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 101 on ventilators. There have been 2,891 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The coronavirus cabinet will meet on Sunday.
Israel is due to receive two shipments of two million doses each, which are expected to arrive either by the end of December or the start of January. The first shipment will be provided by Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with German company BioNTech and received funding from Berlin. Germany said in October that it would share with Israel any coronavirus vaccination created in Europe. The first batch of doses will be enough to vaccinate 2 million people. The first people to be vaccinated will be healthcare professionals, the elderly and those considered high-risk.
The National Security Council warned Israelis not to travel to the UAE, Bahrain, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Africa because of Iranian threats following the recent assassination of its top nuclear scientist.
Bahrain said that it would treat Israeli products made in the West Bank as being “Made in Israel”. The US recently made the same decision, but the EU still distinguishes between products made within the Green Line, which it considers Israel, and those made in the West Bank.
Turkey is reportedly engaged in secret talks with Israel to repair relations between the two countries.
Israel received its most advanced warship on Wednesday. The German made Saar-6 corvette will be fitted with both electronic countermeasures for cruise missiles, which have a flat trajectory, and a maritime version of the Iron Dome system for shooting down high-angle rockets. Israel is scheduled to receive 3 more of the ships next year, which will bring the total of Israeli missile boats to 15.
On Wednesday the Knesset voted 61 to 54 to advance the bill to disband the government. If negotiations between Netanyahu and Gantz do not produce an agreement, the bill will pass through all its readings in the Knesset and dissolve the present government, leading to new elections. If the 2 year budget is not passed by December 23, the government will automatically be dissolved, without a Knesset vote. The latest polls suggest that right wing parties, including Likud, Yamina and the religious parties would win a clear majority in new elections.