Israel news summary

Israel News for 9-9-2020

News Update

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The Health Ministry reported 3,496 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. There are currently 30,079 active cases of which 458 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 140 on ventilators. There have been 1,048 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Jerusalem leads the country with 3,686 active cases, followed by Bnei Brak with 1,651. There are 802 active cases in Tel Aviv. At least 40 locations across Israel, with high infection rates, were placed under night-time curfew on Tuesday. Most of the locations have predominantly Haredi (ultra-orthodox) or Arab populations. The curfew will be in effect between 7pm and 5am for a period of one week, but police are apparently not really enforcing the regulations. More comprehensive restrictions to stem the virus were blocked by Haredi ministers.

Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein and coronavirus czar Prof. Gamzu have both entered quarantine after coming into contact with a confirmed patient.

[While many are blaming PM Netanyahu for failing to properly manage the coronavirus crisis as the infection rates continue to rise, making Israel the country with the highest per capita infection rate, the true blame most likely rests with the general Israeli public which continues to, in large part, ignore social distancing and mask wearing regulations. There’s only so much a government can do to fight the virus, short of completely locking down the country for an indefinite period of time, which no one wants. The responsibility rests with the people — and they are apparently failing.]

Palestinian leaders have toned down their rhetoric against the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE. A draft resolution to be presented by the Palestinians at an Arab League meeting in Cairo today does not include a call to condemn or act against the UAE. PA President Abbas also issued instructions banning any offensive statements or actions towards any Arab leaders.

On Friday, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Kosovo and Israel had decided to “establish full diplomatic relations between the two countries.” The arrangement was apparently a part of an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia brokered by the US administration. Now Serbia is reportedly refusing to move its embassy to Jerusalem if Israel recognizes Kosovo as an independent country. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo would be the first Muslim country to have an embassy in Jerusalem.