Israel’s government has voted to tighten a week-old national lockdown as figures reveal the extraordinary extent of the country’s coronavirus challenge. The country’s infection rate is by far the highest among known rates globally. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers: “Over the past two days we have heard from the experts that if we do not take tough and immediate measures, we will reach the edge of the abyss.”
Israel entered a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, forcing residents to stay mostly at home amid a resurgence in new coronavirus cases. A lockdown was imposed in late March and eased in May as new cases tapered off, reaching single-digit lows, but in the past week, new cases have reached daily highs of more than 5,000.
Israel has become the first country in the world to announce a second national coronavirus lockdown. Responding to a soaring infection and death rate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the decision in a late night TV news conference. The lockdown will last for three weeks and will come into effect at 2pm on Friday – coinciding with a major Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashana.
Top aides to U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United Arab Emirates on a historic flight from Tel Aviv on Monday to finalize a pact marking open relations between the Gulf power and Israel. Even before discussions start in Abu Dhabi, the delegates made aviation history when the Israeli commercial airliner flew over Saudi territory on the direct flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE capital.
Israel says it will temporarily “suspend” plans to annex the West Bank, as part of a new peace deal with the United Arab Emirates. The deal was announced by US President Donald Trump, who told reporters in the Oval Office that he had a “very special call” with leaders from both countries, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and that they had agreed to a peace agreement.
Israel’s prime minister has hit out at an art exhibition of him in Tel Aviv, branding it a “shameful threat of crucifixion”. It features a life-size statue of Benjamin Netanyahu enjoying a lavish meal by himself in a mock re-enactment of The Last Supper. Artist Itay Zalait said the exhibit in the city’s Rabin Square was meant to symbolize the “last supper of Israeli democracy”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before a Jerusalem court Sunday to hear the criminal charges leveled against him in what was an unprecedented scene in the history of Israel. Netanyahu, who was indicted on corruption charges in November, is the first sitting prime minister to be charged with a crime and to appear as a defendant in court.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival, Benny Gantz, have signed an agreement to form an emergency unity government. The deal will see the pair rotating the leadership of the country, with Mr Netanyahu going first as PM. It brings political certainty to Israel after three inconclusive elections and a year of political paralysis.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rival has reportedly agreed to join a unity government, ending a year of political deadlock. Benny Gantz’s surprise election as speaker of parliament on Thursday paved the way for the deal. He will stay in the role until he is named foreign minister, Israeli media report, and will then take over the premiership in September 2021.
Exit polls from Israel’s third election within a year suggested Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing allies are ahead but still one seat short of a parliamentary majority needed to form a government. The polls suggested a stunning turnaround in support for the embattled leader. Netanyahu could win if his alliance with smaller rightwing parties gains a 61-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament.