Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-5-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 1,692 in the last 24 hours. There are currently 341 people in serious condition and 99 on ventilators. There have been 561 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The IDF will be sending 2,000 soldiers to assist health officials with testing and epidemiological investigations of COVID-19 patients.

PM Netanyahu and DM Gantz are still locked in a battle over passing a new budget, which could lead to the calling of a new election. The power sharing agreement reached between the two leaders calls for a 2 year budget, which is what Gantz is insisting on. But Netanyahu is demanding a one year budget.

The PM could be looking to force an election, which current polls indicate that he would win. It would probably also spell an end to Gantz’s chances of ever becoming PM. Netanyahu claims that an annual budget would allow the government to immediately allocate funds to battle the coronavirus and that a longer-term budget would include spending cuts. Gantz claims that Israel needed a long-term fiscal plan for economic and political stability.

Knesset members overwhelmingly voted to reject a bill that would allow the Knesset to override decisions of the High Court of Justice (supreme court).

A massive explosion rocked Beirut yesterday. Over 100 are reported killed, with another 100 missing and over 4,000 missing. Rescue teams and volunteers are trying to find victims and survivors that may have been buried under the rubble. One major hospital was heavily damaged. Sources say that the explosion apparently originated in the port, where there are warehouses that store explosives. Israel has offered humanitarian assistance.