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Deaths from the coronavirus in Israel have risen to 262. There are 51 people on ventilators. 13 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.
The Health Ministry yesterday warned the residents of ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Beit Shemesh and Mea Shearim in Jerusalem that they face a renewed lockdown after hundreds of people gathered in both locations to mark the festival of Lag BaOmer. Riot police were called in to break up the gatherings. 317 men were arrested and fined when hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men tried to enter the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron last night, against police orders.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with PM Netanyahu and Benny Gantz in Jerusalem today during a 6 hour stopover in Israel. The leaders discussed the planned Israeli annexation of Jewish settlements, dealing with the Iranian threat and the fight against the Coronavirus. US Ambassador David Friedman did not meet with Pompeo because he is suffering from an upper respiratory illness. He has tested negative for the Coronavirus.
One person was hurt today when a man tried to stab a security guard at the entrance to Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, near Tel Aviv. Security guards shot and wounded the attacker. Police suspect that the attack was criminal in nature and not terror related.
IDF Sergeant Major Amit Ben Yigal, of the Golani brigade, was killed Monday night while participating in the arrest of four terror suspects in the village of Yabed. As the troops were leaving the village, a large rock was thrown from a rooftop, hitting Ben Yigal in the head. Ben Yigal was killed one month before the end of his IDF service. He was laid to rest yesterday. Ben Yigal was an only child, and had begged his parents for their permission to allow him to serve in a combat unit. May his memory serve as a blessing.
IDF troops searching for Ben Yigal’s killer in a refugee camp near Hebron were attacked by rioters who threw rocks and improvised explosive devices at them. The troops were forced to use live fire to defend themselves. One Palestinian teenager involved in the rioting was hit by a bullet and killed. The IDF is continuing the manhunt.
Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, the former Knesset speaker, will become the new Health Minister. The appointment came shortly after Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov submitted his resignation. Outgoing health minister Yaakov Litzman is set to receive the housing portfolio. Naftali Bennett, who wanted the Health Ministry for himself, accused the PM of humiliating his Yamina party and working to keep it out of the new government.