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All the votes have been counted and the election results remain:
Likud – 36
Blue and White – 33
Arab List – 15
Shas – 9
Yisrael Beyteinu – 7
Labor-Meretz – 7
UTJ – 7
Yamina – 6
That gives the Right Wing block 58 seats, which means that PM Netanyahu will need to either convince 3 opposition MKs to join his coalition or form a unity government with Blue and White.
Avigdor Lieberman has pledged to support a bill drafted by Benny Gantz that would prevent an indicted MK from forming a government. The Knesset reconvenes on Monday March 16, and Blue and White currently controls the House Committee, which sets the agenda for votes in the Knesset plenum. The bill would be supported by the 62 MKs who are not part of the right-wing block, including Lieberman’s Yisrael Beyteinu.
Israel’s Ministry of Health has announced that 2 more Israelis have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, bringing the total number to 17. One new case is a person who returned from Italy last week but has remained in self quarantine at home. The other is an Arab bus driver from East Jerusalem who drove a tour bus with 21 Greek tourists who subsequently tested positive for the virus.
Israel Police announced it will begin to crack down on citizens who violate the Health Ministry’s quarantine directives. Police said it has opened eight criminal investigations against Israelis who have violated the state’s home quarantine rules or tried to fool health ministry inspectors. Violators could face up to seven years in prison.
Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines have cancelled all flights to Israel until the end of March. On Wednesday the Health Ministry ordered all travelers arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland to self quarantine. El AL laid off 1,000 of its 6,000 employees earlier in the week.
According to Syrian media reports, at least one Syrian soldier was killed and four others wounded in Israeli missile attacks in south-west Syria yesterday.
Newsweek has ranked Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv as one of the world’s top ten hospitals (#9) for the second year in a row. Newsweek cites Sheba as a top general hospital as well as its specializations in rehabilitation, pediatrics, women’s health, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders. Also mentioned are the hospital’s breakthrough research in cardiology, gynecology, genetics and medical education.