Israel: Cabinet approves nationwide two-week lockdown starting September 18

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Pool Photo via AP / Menahem KahanaFILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks with Defense Minister and Alternate PM Benny Gantz, both wearing protective mask due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, on June 7, 2020

(i-24)After prolonged deliberations throughout Thursday, Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet approved to reintroduce a nationwide lockdown for two weeks starting September 18.

Due to a dramatic surge in infections across the country — Wednesday hitting a new daily record of 4,013 cases — the Cabinet weighed the proposal of coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu to impose a six-week universal lockdown during the upcoming Jewish holidays.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported implementing a comprehensive lockdown with a string of significant restrictions, with seven other ministers. Ministers Yizhar Shai, Israel Katz, Amir Peretz and Yaakov Litzman objected.

The decision is further subject to ratification by the government, expected to be approved on Sunday.

According to outlet N12, the first stage of the lockdown will be even more strict than the first one imposed back in March. On October 1, if the offer gets an approval, the lockdown will gradually ease.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz ordered security forces to begin preparations to implement the lockdown, including the bolstering of Home Front Command and Israel Police forces.

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