Likud official: Netanyahu to fire Coronavirus Committee chairwoman

Likud official says MK Yifat Shasha-Biton is on the firing line after saying she might not adopt new coronavirus restrictions.

Hezki Baruch ,

Yifat Shasha-Biton leaves a Coroanvirus Committee meeting
Yifat Shasha-Biton leaves a Coroanvirus Committee meeting
Adina Wellman, Knesset spokesperson

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to fire Coronavirus Committee chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Likud), following an interview she gave to the "Meet the Press" program.

A senior Likud official said that Netanyahu will remove Shasha-Biton from her position, explaining, "We can't continue this way."

Shasha-Biton responded to the report by saying, "I am a member of the coalition and I respect the government's decisions. A central part of the Knesset's work is to critique the work of the government, and if there are mistakes - they need to be fixed."

"My job is to examine the best way to fight the virus, to protect the mental and physical health of the citizens, and to save the livelihoods of thousands of workers. I came for one purpose: to serve the nation of Israel. If I need to pay a personal price for that, I'll accept it with love."

Earlier on Saturday evening, Shasha-Biton told "Meet the Press" that she will weigh whether to adopt the government's new decisions.

"Tomorrow we will discuss the restrictions, we will demand statistics," she said. "We want to get a full picture, to know whether these steps are appropriate. I'm not sure that we're in a situation that justifies a lockdown. We need to understand what the financial damage is versus the health benefits, at every stage."

"Right now there are no new statistics, even in the explanation for the government's decision they write that and they will need to explain to us why, despite the fact that there are no new statistics, they are demanding to close down, again, gyms and pools. We will hear all of the professionals and we will make the decisions."

Earlier this week, Likud MK Miki Zohar left the Coronavirus Committee after a confrontation with Shasha-Biton, in which he declared: "I am hereby ousting you from the post; you will no longer be committee chair."

Shasha-Biton shot back, "You'll yet learn to conduct yourselves here."

Both earlier this week, and again on Saturday night, the Blue and White party emphasized that it will not support Shasha-Biton's removal from her post.