Prime Minister Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, in Ar'ara BaNegev, visited a Clalit Health Services clinic.
Also participating in the visit were Clalit Chairman Yohanan Locker, Ar'ara BaNegev Local Council Chairman Naif Abu Arar and Dimona Mayor Benny Biton.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "My first message in Ar'ara is that I am happy and proud to be here. It took 40 hours since our meeting in my office for me to come here. I have come here in order to save lives. We are fighting to save lives. We have brought vaccines for every citizen of the State of Israel, everyone without exception, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Bedouin, Circassians, Druze, Christians – everyone without exception."
"We are in a situation in which we can exit from this accursed disease and gradually open our economy. We must make a common effort to exit from the coronavirus thanks to the millions of vaccines that we have. We can open our economy if we take care to fight the mutation.
"The mutation is currently striking the whole world; we are in a close race with it. We want to win and get rid of it; for this, a final effort is required.
"I know how difficult this is for citizens, the self-employed and businesses. I understand this. We all understand this. Nevertheless, this effort is required because only we will be able to end the pandemic.
"At the upcoming Cabinet meeting, I will seek to add at least two weeks to the closure of the borders and the halt to flights. We closed the land crossings because we do not want to allow the new mutations to enter at a time when we are running to be vaccinated. We can do this.
"In the US, it will be necessary to lock down the country for six months to a year. We need to close for a few weeks. We can end and vaccinate everybody and we are being released. This is a great thing.
"To this end, an effort is needed, an addition to the lockdown, which I know, is difficult, closing the borders as well. With G-d's help, and with yours, come and be vaccinated. We will be able to exit from this.
Prime Minister Netanyahu added: "We submitted the fines law and we said that we would approve it as written. We want to vote on it now and pass the law. We need to convene and do this. Let us pass the decisions. We have no problem with the fines law as written. We have no problem in passing it today in the Knesset and we will pass it as quickly as possible. It is necessary to convene the Cabinet and make decisions to save lives and free the economy; they go together."
Clalit Health Services Southern District Director Hedva Emuna said: "In the month that has passed since the start of the operation, we have made the important vaccine accessible to the Bedouin communities and the far-flung villages in order to allow vaccinations close to home. We are proud of the Clalit teams in the south for their ability to give everyone the service they deserve and hope that by making vaccines accessible, the pace of vaccination in Arab society in the Negev will increase."