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As new coronavirus cases drop to almost zero in Israel, the government today voted to limit the Shin Bet’s involvement in locating and tracking coronavirus carriers using cell phones, except for in extreme cases where there is no other way to do so. Government watchdog groups had challenged the Shin Bet tracking in court, arguing the use of mass surveillance to track Israel’s population is a gross violation of civil and privacy rights.
Yesterday the government approved a plan to inject an additional NIS14 billion ($4 billion) into the economy, bringing the state’s bailout package to a total of NIS100 billion ($28 billion).
According to a recent survey released by the Israel Democracy Institute, 55% of Israelis believe that there will be a second wave of coronavirus and 39% believe that the reopening of the economy has been rushed.
The Palestinian Authority will reopen mosques, churches and businesses tomorrow, which coincides with the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
IDF troops fired at two Palestinians who attempted to stab the soldiers with sickles during the army’s operational activity in the West Bank today. The attackers were hit, but managed to flee. No soldiers were hurt.
El Al will begin operating cargo flights from Tel Aviv to Turkey for the first time since 2010, when Turkey halted flights after Israel stopped and boarded a boat trying to break the blockade of Gaza and killed 9 Palestinians who attacked Israeli soldiers. The cargo flights will carry medical equipment from Turkey to New York. Meanwhile, in a to message American muslims, Turkey’s president Erdogan vowed to protect Palestinians against any attempt by Israel to annex parts of the West Bank.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, Swedish furniture giant IKEA opened its sixth store in Israel today at Moshav Eshtaol near Beit Shemesh. The store covers 25,000 square meters and has 380 employees. IKEA’s five existing stores in Israel are in Netanya, Rishon Lezion, Kiryat Ata (near Haifa), Beersheva and a kitchen store in Tel Aviv Port.