Cabinet meeting
Cabinet meetingHezki Baruch

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is concerned about the continued spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Israel.

At a cabinet meeting today (Sunday), Bennett warned ministers: "The most critical thing is to guard the borders, this strain is contagious at levels we did not see before. The level of lethality is not yet known. At the moment the immunization rate is not sufficient. Immunization must be encouraged - if not, we'll just reach a lockdown."

Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev suggested: "If the variant goes wild, a green pass should be considered for anyone leaving their home."

Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri replied that such a vote would mean imposing a ban on the unvaccinated, to which Bar-Lev responded: "It is not true, they will be able to do tests."

During the meeting, Prime Minister Bennett mistakenly claimed that two British schoolchildren had died from the Omicron variant.

"The Omicron variant also attacks children. We see this in other countries and are also seeing this in Israel. Just this week two middle school classmates in England died from Omicron. One was not vaccinated at all, and the second, it seems, was only partially vaccinated. We are also seeing children being struck in Israel." Bennett said.

The Prime Minister's Office stated afterwards: "The Prime Minister referred to the deaths of two British schoolchildren who fell ill with Corona and died shortly afterwards. The Prime Minister was referring to Corona and not to Omicron, a variant that is still in its infancy. Corona is a virus that endangers human lives and their health, including young people. The Prime Minister is concerned about the risk posed by the coronavirus, its symptoms and its long-term consequences to the health of Israeli children, and calls on all parents to vaccinate their children as soon as possible."