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Israeli Police restrict entrance to a neighborhood in Jerusalem Israeli Police restrict entrance to a neighborhood in Jerusalem  (ANSA)

Resurgence of Covid-19 prompts new lockdown in Israel

Israel's government imposes a new weekend lockdown, in a bid to curb a resurgence of Covid-19 in the country.

By Nathan Morley

The battle with Covid-19 in Israel continues to tax both the population and authorities. This new lockdown will be imposed from Friday at 17:00 until Sunday 05:00.

These new restrictions are broadly in alignment with the Jewish Shabbat.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the ministers his goal was to flatten the curve and gain control of the situation.

Public discontent

Growing public anger has been directed at Netanyahu over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis.

Kol Israel, the state radio network, reports a full lockdown during weekends, including movement restrictions, might be imposed on July 24, if the government gets support in parliament.

As it stands, people will be allowed to go out, but gatherings of over 10 persons are banned. Shops, malls, swimming pools, markets, hair salons, libraries, museums and exhibition spaces, and tourist attractions will be shuttered.

Netanyahu added that the government is making every effort to avoid a general lockdown.

Israel started reopening schools and businesses in May after the outbreak slowed, but the last few weeks have seen a rapid resurgence of the virus.

Support for Netanyahu has waned in recent weeks as he faces a criminal trial, the coronavirus dilemma and economic crisis.

With unemployment shooting over 20 percent, many people in Israel think Netanyahu’s administration has not done enough to help people who lost their livelihood due to the pandemic.

Earlier this week, thousands of people took the streets across the country to protest against Netanyahu, with many camped outside his office in Jerusalem.

17 July 2020, 15:45