Israel news summary

Israel News for 7-15-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,573 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. There are currently 22,704 active cases, of which 195 are in serious condition and 56 on ventilators. There have been 375 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said today that as the virus numbers continue to rise, the country was almost certainly headed for another lockdown. Edelstein rejected criticism that the government had not taken steps to prepare for the second wave of coronavirus spread or that a lockdown would be an admission of failure on the part of authorities, claiming a lockdown is a measure to be taken in order to bring the number of daily infections down.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz blocked the recommendation of the National Security Council (NSC) to impose further restrictions within days if numbers of cases continue to rise. The PM reportedly blamed Gantz for hampering the government’s efforts to control the virus spread because of political considerations.

Thousands of protesters carrying torches attempted to break into the PM’s compound in Jerusalem last night. The demonstrators have staged a sit-in outside PM Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem for the past month, calling on him to resign while facing corruption charges. The protestors waved black flags, which they say symbolize the death of Israel’s democracy during Netanyahu’s tenure as PM, and shouting, “Bibi, go home” and “This is our country, no Netanyahu’s”.

Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman presented a detailed plan to make it easier for first time home buyers to purchase homes in the Galilee and the Negev. The plan calls for grants, increased mortgages and better infrastructure and transportation.