Bennett and wife, Gilat
Bennett and wife, Gilat Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday responded to criticism leveled at him following the announcement that his family would travel abroad, a few days after he recommended not to do so.

"The Bennett family is subject to exactly the same rules that apply to all Israeli citizens. I understand the criticism, but since Friday we have learned more about the variant and in which countries it has spread, and the Corona Cabinet has made decisions on which countries it is permitted to travel and under what conditions," Bennett wrote on Facebook.

He added, "My family (without me, I am staying with you ...) was supposed to go on vacation during the Hanukkah holiday in a country that turned out to be red. The vacation was canceled immediately, and after the new rules became clear, they booked a holiday to a country to which it is permitted to travel. Everyone is traveling in accordance with the restrictions and, of course, will stay in isolation as required. The citizens of Israel are just as important to me as my children."

Earlier, it was reported that the Prime Minister's wife, Gilat Bennett, and his children would depart today, Wednesday, for a vacation of several days abroad.

The holiday was planned ahead of time in Mauritius, Africa, but was canceled in light of the decision to define Mauritius as a "red" country.

Following the decision of the Corona Cabinet to leave the skies open to Israelis, the holiday destination was changed in accordance with the updated guidelines.

Just last Friday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had recommended not to fly abroad due to the fear of the new corona strain spreading around the world. At a press conference, Bennett said that "The South African variant is worrying to the extent that after dozens of strains that have been tested here, it has led to the raising of a flag among health experts in Israel and around the world."

"I don't recommend flying abroad at the moment, with such a level of uncertainty," he said, adding that "We will analyze the data over Shabbat, hopefully gain insight, and make significant decisions with the departure of Shabbat. A lockdown, at the moment, is not on the agenda."

MK Israel Katz (Likud) criticized the family's trip and wrote that "after advising Israeli citizens not to fly abroad - Bennett's wife and children take off for a vacation abroad. This is how it is when political lies become the norm and personal example is publicly trampled. The nerve."

Katz added after Bennett published his response: "Bennett's explanation for his family's trip abroad, contrary to the warnings he gave to the public, is worse than the act itself. 'Since Friday we have learned more about the variant.' So why didn't you update the public and change the recommendation? 0 credibility."

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