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Lieberman says Israeli government only taking political considerations into account in virus issue

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) on 23 October 2018 [Twitter]
Former Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman (C) on 23 October 2018 [Twitter]

Avigdor Lieberman has accused the Israeli government, especially the Ministry of Health, of dealing with the coronavirus crisis by only taking “political considerations” into account. The head of Yisrael Beiteinu insisted that the figure published by the ministry about the number of infected people is wrong and should be much higher.

“The data that the government is publishing regarding the coronavirus is inconsistent with the reality and the data reviewed by the heads of the health authorities,” explained the far-right politician on Facebook yesterday. “It was published today that 8,018 people have been infected with the virus, yet a report stated that 38 per cent of the population of the city of Bnei Brak have been infected with the virus, and those alone are about 75,000 people.”

According to the same authorities, he said, one third of the population in the cities of Elad, Ramat Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit and Modi’in Illit, as well as in the Mehari Shahariem neighbourhood in Jerusalem, have been infected with the virus. “Even if we take into account that someone has exaggerated the numbers, we can say that about 200,000 people have been infected.”

READ: Coronavirus deaths rise to 46 in Israel

If this is the situation, he asked, why hasn’t a two-week closure been imposed on all these cities and neighbourhoods? “The answer to that is simple: political reasons and considerations only. Out of the political considerations themselves, and not the people’s interests, the Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] insists on keeping Minister of Health Jacob Litzman in his position, [even though] he has failed miserably not just in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. In fact, his performance in recent months raises many questions. The long years during which he controlled the Ministry of Health have witnessed an unprecedented decline in everything related to public health.”

Lieberman called on the government to publish official estimates produced by the Ministry of Health regarding the number of people infected with Covid-19. He added his wish for Litzman and his wife to have a swift recovery, as both are in quarantine having been in contact with an infected person.

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