Israel news summary

Israel News for 8-3-2020

News Update

The Health Ministry reported 708 in the last 24 hours, based on only 9,953 tests, which is a very small number. There are currently 334 people in serious condition and 100 on ventilators. There have been 541 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the coronavirus czar, recommended general closure in localities with high infection rates and easing of restrictions for localities with low infection rates. He also recommended fewer restrictions in open spaces such as parks, more severe restrictions in closed spaces such as restaurants and gyms, the cancellation of the partial closure on weekends. The most prominent centers of infections are localities and neighborhoods with ultra-Orthodox and Arab residents.

The IDF attacked 4 men who were spotted planting explosives near the Israeli-Syrian border fence. The men were hit by fire from ground and air forces.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza into Israeli territory on Sunday. A vehicle was damaged by shrapnel from the interception.

The Prime Minister’s Office has ordered the stoppage all test flights of the newly acquired “Air Force 1” plane to be used by the PM and the President. The plane, currently being renovated by Israel Aerospace Industries near the Ben Gurion Airport, has come under public criticism for its increasing cost. After years of delays, the plane’s first test flight was conducted last November, and the last test flight took place on February 10.

The decision to halt work on the plane and cease any upcoming test flights apparently came due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis which effected millions of citizens across Israel — to avoid additional criticism of the project, which has already cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tens of thousands of Israelis, whose relatives fled Austria due to Nazi persecution, will now be able to obtain Austrian citizenship, free of charge. Previously, only survivors themselves were entitled to receive the citizenship. Now, the law applies to anyone who was a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or lived in Austria before March 12, 1938, the date the Third Reich annexed the country.