Israel news summary

Israel News for 5-20-2020

News Update

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The government has approved the reopening of restaurants, bars, and night clubs on May 27th. The establishments will have to follow strict social distancing and sanitary guidelines. Several bars and restaurants in Tel Aviv opened last night, despite the regulations against reopening, and police warned them to close or be fined. Police also dispersed hundreds of people who gathered to socialize in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

According to a new study by Tel Aviv University, 70% of coronavirus patients in Israel were infected by a strain that originated in the United States. The rest of the infections in Israel were imported from Belgium (8%), France (6%), England (5%), Spain (3%) followed by Italy, the Philippines, and Russia. There were hardly any infections imported from China, South Korea, or Singapore. The study also showed that individuals who disobeyed Health Ministry guidelines and attended events such as large parties or other social gatherings contributed to mass infections.

State prosecutors are demanding that PM Netanyahu be present at the opening session of his fraud and bribery trial on May 24th, claiming that it is vital for a defendant to hear the criminal charges against him in person. The PM has petitioned the court to allow him not to attend.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced last night that the PA will no longer be bound by agreements it has signed with Israel and the United States, including those related to security cooperation. The announcement is believed to be in response to Israel’s plans to declare sovereignty over the Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley after July 1st.

A Jordanian man who was trying to smuggle weapons into Israel was shot in the leg by security forces as he tried to breach the Israeli-Jordanian border south of the Kinneret.

A record-breaking heatwave (sharav) is being felt throughout Israel this week. The extreme heat and dry air is causing brush fires throughout the country. Two men have died as a result of the heat wave.

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) Etihad Airways plane bringing aid to the Palestinians landed at Ben Gurion airport yesterday, making it the first time Etihad Airways has landed in Israel.