Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke Saturday night ahead of the start of the Coronavirus Cabinet meeting focusing on the new Omicron variant.
Turning to Israelis around the country, Bennett said, "We are currently in a period of uncertainty that is not simple and not comfortable to be in. Earlier today, I defined this as 'the foggy period.'"
"The key here is caution and minimal risks. Until we know more, we want to maintain the great achievement of ours with the Delta strain – an open Israel with a functioning economy and an active education system, with children going to school. This is the highest preference.
"To this end we need to maintain tight control of the country's borders. Every day we will learn more and know more. We are ahead of the world in gathering information and in making quick decisions. Over Shabbat (the Sabbath - ed.) we held many, many discussions with the Health Ministry and groups of experts. After Shabbat ended, I also spoke with the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna.
"The recommendations that we will submit tonight are those of the Prime Minister, the Health Minister and the Health Ministry. We all have one position here, which is very important for the public trust."
Bennett emphasized: "I would like to pass along an important message here, also ahead of the large-scale events for Hanukkah: The indications show that the vaccine prevents severe morbidity and the booster is very significant in providing defense against severe illness - meaning even if you are infected, the booster will guard you against severe illness."
"Therefore, especially now, before the variant spreads, this is precisely the time to get vaccinated. This is exactly the window of opportunity in which to protect your family, your children and yourselves.
"Whoever is not inoculated with the booster is simply giving up on a vital layer of defense at a critical time.
"Ahead of the Hanukkah events, so that your children can go out and celebrate safely, take them to be vaccinated!
"Have a good week and a happy and safe Hanukkah."