Israeli Gov’t Extends Lockdown to Sunday
The Israeli cabinet voted early Friday morning to extend its coronavirus lockdown to Sunday morning at 7 am amid recriminations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. The defense minister opposed the initial proposal to extend the lock, which was recommended by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Netanyahu. Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit struck down that proposal as a violation of proper procedure as defined by Basic Law: The Government, which was amended by Netanyahu and Gantz in their coalition agreement. “Gantz wants as bad of a morbidity rate as possible for the sake of the elections. You’re sentencing many Israelis to a harsh death,” Netanyahu said of his coalition partner, who rejected the accusation. Well after midnight, a compromise agreement was hammered out and passed unanimously. According to the decision, Israel will on Sunday lift restrictions on movement; restaurants will be open for take-away service and lodgings will be permitted to receive guests. Also early Friday morning, the Health Ministry released figures showing that the death toll in Israel from the coronavirus had surpassed 5,000.