Nitzan Horowitz
Nitzan HorowitzAvi Dishi/Flash90

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz defended senior officials in his ministry Tuesday night after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett criticized them.

"I think it was unnecessary and am sorry it was done. The healthcare system is doing an amazing job and I support them 100% because I support science and medicine and that is always our first consideration. It is the duty of healthcare professionals to present their professional recommendation to the decision makers," Horowitz said in an interview with Kan News.

He noted that he would not agree to further significant restrictions even if coronavirus morbidity increased. "It is not right to close the country and shut down and send hundreds of thousands of people to unemployment. There are congestion restrictions and a green pass, there are very broad inspections and isolations. I am not ready to close the country whenever there is a health problem."

Horowitz was asked about vaccinating children under the age of 12 and said that after FDA approval there would be no reason not to vaccinate children. "Why not vaccinate the children? There is a difference between the booster shot and a change in the data regarding age, so in this matter we will take the steps taken in the rest of world."

Asked about the prime minister's ignoring the Palestinian issue in his speech at the UN, Horowitz replied, "It is no secret that I have disagreements with Bennett on the political issue. A two-state solution is in Meretz's view is the only way to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. I believe that there is a partner and in this government we are in contact with the Palestinians."

The Health Ministry was outraged by Prime Minister Bennett's remarks in a conversation with reporters and claimed that he used his speech at the UN for an unnecessary attack. "This weekend there was an altercation with Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis from the Health Ministry. I'm glad it happened because we got rid of the Health Ministry's monopoly," Bennett said.

In the briefing, Bennett added that "with all due respect to the cabinet of experts and medical experts - some do not see the full picture. Some have opposed the booster shots in real time. Medical experts are important but not the exclusive input. They will not make national decisions, rather we will."