Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-1-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry today reported 773 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Israel has thus far conducted over one million virus tests. There are currently 7,838 active cases, of which 56 are in serious condition and 24 on ventilators.

The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center warned that, “Without the proper precautions taken to slow down the virus’ morbidity, within two weeks the number of new daily patients could reach 1,000 a day, with serious conditions and deaths rising by dozens accordingly.”

Dr. Erez Onn, the head of the Hospital Division at the Health Ministry, said, “We are opening more and more dedicated wards for coronavirus patients. The wings are filling up, we’re seeing a rise in serious condition patients.”

The Health Ministry has decided to recommend cities and neighborhoods with high infections rates be placed under lockdown, including Dimona, Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, and Ramle. In total, the Health Ministry estimates that dozens of towns and neighborhoods could be placed under lockdown.

The deputy education minister, Meir Porush, said yesterday that many yeshiva students are avoiding getting tested if they have symptoms, based on directives issued by their rabbis, for fear that the government might impose closures on the Haredi enclaves.

PM Netanyahu met with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman yesterday to discuss annexation. After the meeting the PM indicated that Israel would most likely miss the July 1st date he set for the annexation process to begin.

To read an op-ed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding Israel’s proposed annexation of parts of the West Bank, click here.

The Shin Bet Security Agency announced on Tuesday it exposed an attempt by Hezbollah to recruit Israeli Arabs from the Galilee. Shin Bet officials said that two women from the town of Majd al-Krum were investigated at the beginning of June after meeting with a journalist from Lebanon who tried to recruit them to the terrorist group. The journalist, Beirut Hamud, is a former Israeli who also lived in the northern Arab community before relocating to Lebanon in 2013, where she resides with her husband, Bilal Bizari. Hamud reportedly met with the two Israelis in Turkey last December.

The IDF has decided to shorten mandatory military service for men from 32 to 30 months.

The U.S. State Department has put the ambassador to Israel’s official beachfront residence in Herzliya up for sale for $87 million.