Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-17-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 1,044 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, amid a drop in testing. There are currently 23,945 active cases of which 398 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 113 on ventilators. There have been 690 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The Ministry of Health order exempting Israelis returning home from “green” countries from the need to self-isolate for 14 days came into effect today. The 20 countries on the list are: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Slovenia and the UK.

The Rebbe of Belz, the leader of one of the largest Chassidic communities in Israel, was admitted into the coronavirus ward at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center yesterday. Just 11 days earlier, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, 72, hosted a massive indoor wedding for his grandson, with thousands of guests. There was little mask wearing or social distancing. The rebbe has been openly dismissive of health ministry corona directives and instructed his followers not to report infections to the authorities to avoid restrictions against the community.

The IDF attacked several sites belonging to Hamas for a sixth night in a row in response to incendiary balloon attacks. Over 30 fires broke out in Israeli communities bordering Gaza on Sunday.

PM Netanyahu said yesterday that he expects more Arab countries to follow the example of the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE. The PM also said that Israel is working on arranging direct flights to the UAE that will pass over Saudi Arabia.

Israel Air Force fighter jets will take part this week in its first-ever joint exercises on German soil with the German Air Force and the air forces of other countries. The German Air Force announced that Israeli jets will fly over Munich to commemorate the Israelis murdered during the 1972 Olympic Games and return via the former Dachau concentration camp, where Israel Air Force representatives will lay wreaths in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.