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Israel: Netanyahu to implement full lockdown to limit demonstrations calling for his resignation

September 10, 2020 at 2:00 am

Demonstrators protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Jerusalem on 30 August 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to implement a full lockdown in Israel to limit demonstrations calling for him to resign, reported on Wednesday.

The news outlet cited a report by Israeli military analyst Amos Harel which appeared in Haaretz, stating that the country is heading towards a full lockdown by the end of the month.

Harel pointed out that there is a “power struggle shaping up” within the cabinet that was formed to handle the COVID-19 crisis, while members from Defence Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party are working to prevent a full closure.

Full lockdown has commenced in 40 Israeli cities on Tuesday night, labelled as “red” cities, due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported within them.

Cabinet sources reported by Harel state that Netanyahu believes that the only way to reduce the number of cases is to implement a full lockdown lasting several weeks.

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Harel expects that the Israeli High Court is not likely to prevent demonstrations during the full lockdown, but it would make it difficult for demonstrators from red areas to reach the demonstration sites.

According to Harel, Netanyahu might be delaying full closure until the end of this month as he is planning to travel to Washington on 15 September to attend the ceremony of the signing of the UAE-Israel deal. “It is unreasonable that Netanyahu travels to Washington while Israel is locked down,” according to Harel.

The Israeli COVID-19 cabinet is also examining imposing restrictions during the Rosh Hashanah weekend, a transition to a longer lockdown, or shutting down schools for a three-week period during the autumn holidays.

This controversy started as Israel began recording high numbers of infection cases, reaching as high as 3,000 daily.