Issawi Frej
Issawi FrejNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Minister for Regional Cooperation Issawi Frej (Meretz) expressed sharp criticism of those Arab-Israelis who have recently been traveling to Greece and Turkey, claiming that they are faking vaccination or immunity documents. Frej is himself an Arab.

“Arabs are flying in huge numbers to Turkey and Greece and showing an utter lack of responsibility in doing so,” Frej said, as reported by journalist Yaron Avraham. “They also present faked documentation in order to return to Israel [and dodge quarantine requirements]. This situation requires in-depth study.”

In response, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that even if travelers presented forged documentation when boarding their flights home, they would be checked again upon arrival in Israel and their deception would be detected. “I want this to be checked out properly, to make sure there are no contradictions between documents presented upon boarding and the results of the tests,” he said.

Prime Minister Bennett also discussed the ongoing spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, saying that, “We have proof that the decision to vaccinate people with a third dose is both safe and effective.”

He also stressed that the third vaccine dose only reaches full efficacy five days after it is administered, and that senior citizens should continue to exercise caution in the first four days following their third dose.

According to the Prime Minister, around 420,000 people over the age of 60 have been vaccinated, a third of the target population. “To everyone over the age of 60 who has yet to be vaccinated – go and get that shot,” Bennett said. “Make an appointment, or go straight to a clinic even without making an appointment.”