Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz Kobi Richter/TPS

Finance Minister Yisrael Katz told Channel 13 News in an interview on Wednesday that even if there is a second outbreak of coronavirus in Israel, "there will be no lockdown".

"Nothing will be shut down laterally – everything can be treated on a case-by-case basis using enforcement and isolation. We will not shut down any branch in the economy. Even if something happens like the first outbreak, there is no room for a general lockdown."

Katz admitted that the economic situation in Israel is the most serious in the history of the country. "I entered my position with the state of the economy and society in Israel being probably the worst in the history of the country, or at least in the last few decades," he noted. "By the end of the year we will reach an even bigger deficit. All the decisions that are made are meant to facilitate and allow the period to pass."

The Finance Minister also commented on the Treasury's plan to bring workers back to the economy, saying, "Six billion shekels are earmarked to bring employees back to work. My goal is that in the four months of the grants, at least hundreds of thousands of employees will return to work and by the end of the year the economy will return to normal."

Commenting on Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and the possibility of the government being disbanded, Katz said, "He has the record. He was the Chief of Staff, he did things. An agreement was created here that is the best of the worst in order to bring out the best. I do not think we’re headed toward a fourth election. The budget will not cause the government to fall apart. Everyone unequivocally recommends approving a one-year budget in September in light of the circumstances."

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