Israel news summary

Israel News for 6-19-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry today confirmed 349 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. This is the first time since April that over 300 cases in one day have been reported. There are currently 4,372 active coronavirus patients across the country, among them 40 patients in serious condition, 44 in moderate condition, and 28 patients requiring artificial respiratory assistance. The majority of active cases are said to display only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Corona related deaths currently stand at 304.

The mayor of Rahat, the largest Bedouin city in Israel, said yesterday that many residents are ashamed of being infected with coronavirus and as a result avoid getting tested. The government on Wednesday decided to designate three Arab communities, including Rahat, as “restricted coronavirus areas,” which will be subject to several restrictions regarding travel and gathering. Several neighborhoods in Jaffa have also been placed on partial lockdown. Bnei Brak and Bat Yam have also seen a small spike in new cases, raising fears of a renewed lockdown. The Palestinian Authority has also reported a recent spike in cases.

To view a map of coronavirus cases in Israel, click here.

PM Netanyahu once again warned that if the Israeli public continues to disregard health orders, the government would have to take “firm measures” to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Doctors at Israel’s largest hospitals are now administering steroids to coronavirus patients in serious condition, based on the results of a recent British study that demonstrates the effectiveness of steroids in fighting the virus.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi made a surprise visit to Ramallah to discuss the possibility of Israeli action to annex parts of the West Bank with PA President Abbas. Under the Israeli government’s coalition deal between Likud and Blue and White, an annexation plan can be put to a government vote in July. The PM has reportedly presented several annexation plans, but non have yet to be approved. It is also unclear whether the US administration would support any of the plans.

Israel’s Southern District Planning and Building Committee has approved an urban plan for Mitzpe Ramon, the Negev town overlooking the world’s largest erosion canyon. The plan calls for the construction of 3,000 new homes and hotels and tourist attractions, which will increase the city’s population from its current 5,200 to 17,000 by 2030.