Minister Shasha-Biton
Minister Shasha-Biton Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90

Education Minister Yifat Shasha Bitton called at the cabinet meeting to stop threatening citizens with lockdowns.

"Beyond the fact that we need to remove the issue of lockdown from the agenda, the very fact that we are talking about it is establishing facts on the ground. There are cancellations and people are in existential anxiety about their livelihoods."

PM Bennett had said at the start of the cabinet meeting, "If we get vaccinated in [the month of] Elul, we can hear the shofar together in Tishrei."

Prime Minister Bennett had previously been outspoken against lockdowns, saying in October "A lockdown is only necessary when you fail to provide good management."

"The lockdown is destroying a generation of entrepreneurs and business owners here. It's shattering the souls of our children. The lockdown is the antithesis of the Israeli spirit," he also had said.

Bennett had addressed then-PM Netanyahu by saying "Your program cannot focus on closures and rely on vaccines. We need a program that will defeat the disease without the necessity for a lockdown."