Government to rule today on additional lockdown extension

Netanyahu pushing for further extension of lockdown, which is set to expire Friday morning. Gantz opposed to extension, calls for reopening.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Israeli government is set to convene Wednesday afternoon to deliberate on a possible extension of the coronavirus lockdown.

The lockdown is currently set to expire Friday morning at 7:00, based on a decision by the government Sunday. The move was part of a compromise worked out between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with the former pressing for the lockdown to be extended until Sunday, while Gantz had demanded the economy and school system be reopened starting Thursday.

Now, Netanyahu is pushing for a three-day extension to the lockdown, keeping Israel under full closure until midnight between Sunday and Monday.

Gantz, on the other hand, is demanding that restrictions on businesses be lifted starting Friday, and that the lockdown not be further extended.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu made a live televised address alongside Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, arguing in favor of an additional extension to the lockdown.

"We are in the middle of a race between the vaccination campaign and the mutation," Netanyahu said Tuesday evening. "The vaccination campaign is our key to the plan to get out of the corona crisis. The mutation is hitting the whole world."

"We have also encountered the mutation. A few days ago it was about 70% of our total samples, and today it is about 80%. A huge spread," he explained.

"I set a national target to vaccinate at least 90% of those aged 50 and over in the next two weeks, it is possible. It allows us to save lives. Every day determines. Another three days of lockdown means another 200,000 protected people," the prime minister added.