Netanyahu: Bnei Brak wedding was bloodshed

Government convenes to discuss extending lockdown due to high morbidity rates.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

lockdown enforcement
lockdown enforcement
Yossi Aloni/Flash90

The government convened Tuesday afternoon to vote on extending the current lockdown beyond Friday in light of the rising number of coronavirus patients diagnosed in Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in his opening remarks at the start of the meeting: "We must decide immediately on extending the lockdown. Many European countries are extending their lockdowns until March, even until April. If we open up now, it will cost us human lives."

Netanyahu condemned the large wedding which took place in Bnei Brak yesterday and said: "The wedding that took place yesterday is true bloodshed. The instructions must be obeyed."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said at the Cabinet meeting that "entry and exit from the country should be restricted immediately."

Earlier, the Blue and White party agreed to back a seven-to-ten day extension of the tightened lockdown, on condition that the government also vote to approve a number of policy changes demanded by the party.

The demands include vaccinations for high school students, mandatory coronavirus checks for everyone arriving in Israel, and expanded lockdown enforcement in areas with high infection rates.

According to Ganz, "Subject to all of these, and in accordance with the recommendations of the professionals, Blue and White will support the extension of the lockdown for a week to ten days."

The head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat, said at the Cabinet meeting that "the morbidity is high and widespread, mainly because of the mutations. The extent of the disease challenges the hospitals and we still do not see the effect of the restrictions on the disease."

Coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash said in closed discussions ahead of the Cabinet meeting: "We will not insist on two more weeks, this week plus a weekend is also acceptable." Regarding the vaccines, Ash said: "The effectiveness of the first dose is lower than we thought and what Pfizer presented."

A total of 10,021 new cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed across Israel Monday, according to data released by the Health Ministry Tuesday morning.

There are now 81,059 active cases of the virus identified in Israel, with 77,524 being treated at home, 1,588 being treated at coronavirus hotels, and 1,947 hospitalized patients.

Of those hospitalized patients, 1,114 are in serious or critical condition, with 277 on assisted breathing.